Digitized by the Internet Archive
John W. Campbell,
COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM ANALOG
. . . the inertia of the human mind and its resistance to in-
novation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect,
by the ignorant mass— which is easily swayed once its imagination
is caught— but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition
and in the monopoly of learning. Innovation is a twofold threat to
academic mediocrities; it endangers their oracular authority, and
it evokes the deeper fear that their whole laboriously constructed
intellectual edifice may collapse.
ARTHUR KOESTLER, The Sleepwalkers
John W. Campbell,
selected by Harry Harrison
DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC.
GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK
"Coincidence Day" by John Brunner, "Fighting Division" by Randall
Garrett, "Overproof" by Jonathan Blake MacKenzie, "The Adventure
of the Extraterrestrial" by Mack Reynolds, "Say It With Flowers"
by Winston P. Sanders, "Balanced Ecology" by James H. Schmitz,
reprinted by permission of the authors and the authors' agent,
Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.
"Countercommandment" by Patrick Meadows, reprinted by permission
of the author.
"Mission 'Red Clash'" by Joe Poyer, reprinted by permission of the
"Computers Don't Argue" by Gordon Dickson, reprinted by permission
of the author and the author's agent, Robert P. Mills Literary Agent.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 66-24320
Copyright © 1966 by John W. Campbell and Harry Harrison
Copyright © 1943, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958,
i960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 by the Conde Nast Publications,
All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America
When I was fifteen years old I thought John W. Campbell was
God. Since that time I have altered my views a bit— but I am sure
that there must be boys that age who are today reading Analog
with much the same emotion. While teen-age enthusiasms are a
commonplace, it must be realized that a difference exists here,
for this is the same magazine that Albert Einstein subscribed
to, the one that Wernher von Braun had sent to him by way of
Sweden during the war, so that he would not miss a single issue.
John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Stories in 1937,
a position that he has held ever since. He guided the meta-
morphosis of that garish-covered pulp magazine through a num-
ber of wonderful and intricate title changes and physical shapes,
to its present form as Analog Science Fiction/ Science Fact. Or
more simply, Analog— or ASF— to its quarter of a million readers
and vociferous supporters. Every issue of ASF since 1938 has
contained an editorial by John W. Campbell. In the very early
years these usually took the form of a boxed page of description
of the stories in the issue or future plans for the magazine, ordi-
nary editor-reader matters. However odd bits of information and
opinion began to creep in, until all the references to the fiction
were squeezed out of the editorial and formed into other depart-
ments of the magazine. The editorials took on a unique character
of their own, they became Campbell Editorials, and have been
the center of controversy ever since.
It would be unfair to consider these editorials in the abstract,
since they are irrevocably linked with the magazine that con-
tained them and the man who wrote them.
ASF cannot be dismissed as just another science fiction maga-
zine. As regards its fictional content the history is very clear—
the best of all the modern writers were developed in its pages,
and the appearance of their stories in this magazine marked the
change from pulp fiction to modern fiction. All credit must be
Vi COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
extended to them for the maturity of their work, but at the same
time due credit should be given as well to the editor for guiding
their hands. None of these writers has been so small as to deny
the influence of John Campbell, and the number of books that
have been dedicated to him gives evidence of this. At a guess I
would say there are at least thirty, a record that I am sure is
unique in literature.
John W. Campbell is a born trouble-maker. The mere fact that
something exists and that millions believe in it does not con-
vince Campbell of its validity. Quite the opposite, this seems to
be the point where he begins to doubt. His background ap-
pears to be ideally suited to this task, since he was introduced
to physical science at the age of three, became interested in phi-
losophy at six and read his first science fiction at the age of eight.
He made himself thoroughly unpopular with other children by
treating all their games and enthusiasms as problems in need of
a solution. Once he had solved the problem— such as using a
standard naval search pattern, a spiral moving out from the cen-
ter, to wipe out the game of hide-and-seek— he lost interest and
moved on to something new.
If we can thank the depression for anything, it is for blighting
the career that Campbell was trained for. He went first to MIT,
but graduated from Duke University where he took his degree
in physics at a time when no one at all was interested in hiring
physicists. His education may not have been the ideal training
for the jobs he held as a car and air-conditioner salesman, but it
certainly helped him to write science fiction. He had been writ-
ing—and selling— SF while still an undergraduate, and he con-
tinued to do so on an expanding scale. It was good fiction; stories
written then for the pulps are still in print today— as books.
All of the parts of Campbell's work overlap and are related.
First as a writer, then becoming editor of one of the magazines
that published his stories. While he was editor he wrote a hand-
ful of stories and sold them to himself under a pen name. This is
an accepted editorial practice, particularly when income tax pay-
ments are coming due, but Campbell did it because writers were
not turning in the kind of "thought variant" stories he wanted
to print. So he had to give them samples of what he was looking
for. He stopped writing stories as examples as soon as he had
mastered the technique of the Campbell editorial inquisition, or
writer's conference. This has been likened, by writers who have
experienced it, to being fed through a buzz saw or a man-sized
meatgrinder. It is a painful process, I'll vouch for that, because a
Campbell conversation consists almost entirely of loaded ques-
tions that demand answers. No one really likes to be forced to
think. Campbell forces you. It is a heartening experience that
should be part of the training of all budding SF writers, pro-
viding their hearts are in good shape and their sweat glands
Through the years, while all of this had been going on, John
Campbell was writing an editorial every month. These are idio-
syncratic, personal, prejudiced, far-reaching, annoying, and sab-
otaging. All of these terms have been applied by readers— and
far stronger ones as well. An editorial on physics always pro-
duces a flood of correspondence that appears as four or five
pages of mathematical symbols in Brass Tacks, the letter column.
The next editorial, on politics, will bring the social scientists out
of the woodwork with arguments blasting, both pro and con. For
almost thirty years now the Campbell editorials have produced
shouts of joy and moans of pain from thousands of ASF readers.
Campbell is always happiest when far out on a limb, and a
good number of his editorials have been prognosticative. Very
often the prophecy has been right. As long ago as 1938 he pre-
dicted that atomic energy would be released, and encouraged his
writers to do stories about both the atomic bomb and the peace-
ful uses of nuclear fission. In the mid- 1940s, just after the first
atomic bomb had been dropped, he looked ahead to future de-
velopments and predicted that this weapon would someday be
outclassed by the hydrogen bomb. Mulling over the problems that
would face the designers of this bomb, he suggested that they use
the infinitely cheaper lithium hydride rather than tritium. Though
a good number of atomic physicists read the magazine they did
not consider using it as a textbook. They should have. A $2,000,-
000,000 plant was built to produce tritium and in 1952 the first
hydrogen bomb was exploded. The Russians, who did not have
the facilities or techniques to manufacture tritium, found a way
viii collected editorials from Analog
to make lithium hydride work instead in their hydrogen bomb.
This chemical costs $12 a pound. If the Atomic Energy Com-
mission had read the ASF editorials more closely they might have
saved a few billion dollars.
There is no point in attempting to describe a Campbell
editorial; in the following pages the reader may see for himself
just what varied forms this creature takes. Neither will I claim
that these are the only editorials that could be assembled in book
form. Taken in their entirety they add up to a five-foot shelf of
original thinking on a number of topics, and I have made a purely
personal choice of those which I considered the most interesting
and the most characteristic. I have called upon many people for
aid, and have received it, since it appears that everyone has at
least one favorite. There has been no shortage of material: at a
modest estimate the editorials have totaled more than 900,000
words over the past twenty-eight years.
Inevitably, the passing of time has ruled out the inclusion of
some. Many of the editorials of the late '40s and early '50s dealt
with current and pending advances in atomic theory and practice.
In other cases fact has caught up with editorial prediction.
Veteran readers of the magazine will look in vain for at least
two topics that have been associated with the pages of ASF; the
machine known as the Dean Drive, and that rather eccentric
theory of mental aberration, Dianetics. This is not wilful censor-
ship on my part, but has been dictated by the material. John W.
Campbell never wrote an editorial advocating either of these
discoveries. I will be glad to aid all those who raise a howl of
agony at this bit of alarming news; you'll find the editorial
about Dianetics in the May 1950 issue, and the one about the
Dean Drive in the issue dated exactly ten years later, May i960.
About is the proper word to use since both editorials talk about
the subject in question and mention briefly that an article or
articles will appear on the subject. John W. Campbell did not
champion either of these causes. The cause he supported— with
blasts on the trumpet and salvos of artillery— was the right for
controversial ideas to see print and to be considered by the
authorities. That was all he ever said. His magazine printed the
material, the follow-up articles, and the vitriolic correspondence.
He himself championed neither— just their right to be heard. Go
ahead and look. It surprised me too.
In making the final selection I have tried to be as far-reaching
as I could, including representative pieces to form as broad a
spectrum of topics as possible. But in one case I must admit to
personal prejudice, that is the editorial entitled A Matter of De-
gree. It concerns a characteristic of atomic reactors termed the
k-factor, and how this factor might be applied to human be-
haviour. When I first read this it sparked a train of thought that
produced a story that I titled— with great imagination— The
k-Factor. Campbell editorials, like Campbell conversation, are
stuffed with story ideas that are free for the taking. That is all
they are. There is no positive feedback cycle that guarantees
that the editor will buy his own idea when dolled up as a piece
of fiction. It must still be a successful piece of fiction in its own
right. A small army of filing cabinets could be filled with the re-
jects of authors who imagined otherwise.
I have grouped the editorials for easy reference, though as far
as interest goes this volume can be dipped into at random, or
read from back to front. The editorials were written as separate
and distinct entities, and defiantly remain that way. Four of
them even managed to avoid categorizing, other than being
forced into the very elastic mould of being used as the closing
pieces in the book. It is here that you will find the only Campbell
editorial ever written about science fiction itself, Non-Escape
Literature. In the opening group there is Hyperinfracaniphilia,
the editorial that raised the most enthusiasm— or at least brought
in the most mail.
Regular ASF readers who are hurt that John W. Campbell did
not champion the Dean Drive or Dianetics, will be cheered by
We MUST Study Psi, which uncompromisingly plugs for greater
attention to what used to be called mental telepathy or extra-
sensory perception. But the backbone of the argument here is that
there are incontrovertible forms of PSI that anyone can demon-
strate. John Campbell is a difficult man to argue with.
In the March 1965 Analog he said this:
Editorially, I shall continue to try to investigate the nature of
the stuffing in any suspiciously bulging shirts around. My business
X COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
is directly concerned with the progress and achievement of the
human race; any orthodoxy that tends to sidetrack or otherwise
impede progress is interfering with my business, and I'll do whet
I can to sabotage them.
This is a good statement of what these editorials basically are,
but it is not a complete one. It does not describe the unique twist
of the Campbellian mind that sees the entire world from a dif-
ferent angle— and holds up a mirror that enables us to see it that
way too. It leaves out the capacity to pull in apparently unre-
lated factors from disparate fields to generate a new picture of
reality. It omits the constantly renewed enthusiasm that makes
reading the editorials a pleasure.
I would like to thank Dr. Leon E. Stover for both advice and
aid in uncovering copies of magazines I no longer possessed, and
Kingsley Amis for suggestions and literary succor. My gratitude
also to Brian W. Aldiss, Poul Anderson, James Blish, and Tom
Boardman, Jr., for their assistance.
I would particularly like to thank John W. Campbell for writing
the editorials and for editing the magazine that I have read with
pleasure for every one of those twenty-eight years. May he con-
tinue to do so in the twenty-eight to come.
London January 1966
SHAKING THE FOUNDATIONS
The Lesson of Thalidomide Jan. 2963 3
Segregation Oct. 2963 12
Hyperinfracaniphilia Feb. 2965 26
Breakthrough in Psychology! Dec. 2965 32
THE DESTINY OF MAN
Arithmetic and Empire Nov. 1Q43 45
Note for Chemists Sept. 2952 48
Space for Industry Apr. ig6o 52
THE WONDER OF SCIENCE
No Copying Allowed Nov. 2048 61
"Our Catalogue Number . . ." July 2953 65
The Scientist Dec. 2953 69
Relatively Absolute July 2954 74
"I Know What You Say. . ." Aug. 2957 82
Research is Antisocial Apr. 2958 87
PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF
The Value of Panic Aug. 2956 97
"Fully Identified . . " Jan. 2964 103
( additional material ) Sept. ig6$ 108
Louis Pasteur, Medical Quack June 2964 109
"The Laws of Things" June 2965 123
Xii COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
"You Know What I Mean . . " Aug. 1953 133
Limitation on Logic Mar. 1954 138
AN ORIGINAL POINT OF VIEW
The Demeaned Viewpoint May 1955 145
A Matter of Degree Oct. 1957 151
On The Selective Breeding of Human Beings Feb. 1961 156
Astrologer— Astronomer— Astro-Engineer Sept. 1962 165
Hydrogen Isnt Cultural Dec. 1963 173
POLITICS-A NEW LOOK
Constitution for Utopia May 1961 181
Colonialism Apr. 1961 193
Keeperism July 1965 203
A FINAL EXAMINATION
We Must Study Psi Jan. 1959 217
Non-Escape Literature Feb. 1959 227
Where Did Everybody Go? July 1963 232
God Isn't Democratic Apr. 1964 244
SHAKING THE FOUNDATIONS
THE LESSON OF THALIDOMIDE
The thalidomide disaster is, of course, by no means finished; it
will continue to be a disaster at least as long as any of the affected
babies are living. And the lesson the human race can learn from
that thalidomide disaster should go on . . . well, really, forever.
Unfortunately, I have not seen the proper lesson of the thalid-
omide results published anywhere; what I have seen published
has, in every case, been exactly the wrong lesson.
Many thousands of years ago now, Man first learned— first of all
animals— the correct lesson from being burned by fire. The lesson
had to do with how you could handle fire; the other animals only
learned to fear fire.
The importance of that difference is that they are still animals
—and this is Man's world.
The basic lesson to learn from the thalidomide problem is, sim-
ply, that human beings were, are, and always will be expended
in the process of learning more about the Universe we live in—
and that we'd be wiser to acknowledge that, and accept it. When
you do true exploration into the Unknown— some explorers are
going to die. John Glenn stated very flatly that men were going
to be killed in the effort to penetrate space— that he was lucky,
but that deaths were inevitable.
The human race just expended several thousand babies in a
battle against disease and misery; this has happened before, and
we would be most wise to recognize quite clearly— as clearly as
Glenn recognized his danger— that it will most certainly happen
And there isn't one thing we can do about it.
Human life is not sacred; it is expendable for cause. The Uni-
verse doesn't hold it sacred, quite obviously; if we do, we're un-
realistic—which means essentially, "neurotic."
Let's take a solid, rational look at the story of thalidomide.
In the first place, Dr. Frances Kelsey acted in a whimsical, ar-
4 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
bitrary, illogical, and unscientific manner in failing to license
thalidomide for distribution in this country. Her course of action—
actually, her course of inaction— was absolutely unjustifiable.
The fact that it was completely correct and right has nothing
whatever to do with the question of whether or not it was
logical, scientific, or justifiable. It may have been a case of pure
"woman's intuition" working with illogical, but magnificent ac-
curacy. It may have been a case of precognition— of seeing the
future accurately. If either were the case, it would have been
totally unscientific, illogical, indefensible . . . and right.
It might have been simply someone with a constitutional in-
ability to make a decision who kept thalidomide off the market
in the United States— one of the type who simply cant bring
themselves to make a definite decision.
Such a person would have been just as helpful, in this case, as
Fundamentally, Dr. Kelsey had absolutely no scientific reason-
no defensible justification— for not granting thalidomide a license.
Her actions with respect to the ethical pharmaceutical company
seeking to produce it were arbitrary, whimsical, and unjust.
All of those statements remain one hundred per cent true de-
spite the fact that she saved hundreds, or thousands, of personal
tragedies by her inaction. The only circumstance under which
it could be held that her actions were logical and just are that you
hold that Dr. Kelsey had clear, reliable, dependable extrasensory
perception by which she perceived clearly and reliably the future
facts that, at the time, were not available.
And that is, basically, why we must acknowledge and accept
that the thalidomide type disaster will recur so long as human
beings seek to explore for a better way of doing things.
Study the history of thalidomide briefly: It was synthesized
first by a Swiss pharmaceutical firm. Tests of the new com-
pound were made on animals, and it was found that thalidomide
had no effects— either positive or negative. It was an "inert in-
gredient" so far as the animals were concerned; the substance was
abandoned in 1954.
Then the West German company, Chemie Grunenthal, started
further investigations on it. Their careful tests also showed that it
THE LESSON OF THALIDOMIDE 5
had no pharmacological effects on animals. The only reason they
persisted was that thalidomide had now acquired a "crucial exper-
iment" importance, practically. According to the best theoretical
understandings, that particular type of molecular structure should
have sedative effect— and if thalidomide did not have any ef-
fect, the theory needed some serious reworking.
So Grunenthal tried it on human patients— on epileptics as a
possible anticonvulsant. It did not act as an anticonvulsant, but
did act as an excellent sleep-inducer, in human beings. It gave
restful, all-night sleep without after-effects, and was remarkably
safe— so safe it could be sold without prescription. It was, literally,
safer than aspirin; would-be suicides have succeeded by taking
sufficiently massive quantities of aspirin— but would-be suicides
who tried massive doses of thalidomide simply woke up after a
somewhat prolonged sleep. It was far safer than the barbiturates;
Marilyn Monroe's death by barbiturates would not have suc-
ceeded, had thalidomide replaced the barbiturates as tranquil-
The "goofball" addiction would not be able to replace bar-
biturates with thalidomide; it doesn't act that way.
Thalidomide, as of i960, had proven itself to be by far the
safest, gentlest, most nearly fool-proof sedative pharmacology had
yet discovered. Even by intent, a man couldn't hurt himself with
The situation then was that a drug which could replace the
very useful, but somewhat dangerous, barbiturates had become
available— a drug so safe small children could use it— and so safe
small children getting into the forbidden medical cabinet
wouldn't kill themselves with it.
As of late i960, then, Dr. Kelsey's whimsical, arbitrary, and un-
justified action— or inaction— was keeping from the American pub-
lic a drug which could replace a definitely dangerous, definitely
toxic, and somewhat habit-forming drug, the barbiturates.
Thalidomide had been tested again and again by major ethical
pharmaceutical houses, had been approved for nonprescription
sale by government after government, and had been widely and
safely used by many millions of people all through Europe.
6 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Dr. Kelsey was, by nit-picking and dillydallying tactics, blocking
the licensing of a safe, proven, and cheap replacement for a
Logically, that position was totally unjustifiable.
It had all the earmarks of a petty Civil Servant tyrant, fussing
endlessly, delighting over the power red-tape gave . . .
At this time— say January, 1961— there was no scientific reason
to doubt that thalidomide was one hundred per cent safe, and a
very successful drug.
In early 1961, some reports of a polyneuritis effect due to long-
continued massive dosing with thalidomide began to appear. Its
symptoms were a tingling "leg's gone to sleep" sort of feeling in
hands and feet; discontinuation of the thalidomide dosing cleared
up the cases usually, fairly promptly.
Be it remembered that the barbiturates, which thalidomide
sought to replace, were favorite suicide pills, were habit form-
ing, and had plenty of not-so-good possibilities latent in them.
Of the two, thalidomide was far and away the safer . . . on the
basis of all available data.
But that slight tendency to peripheral neuritis when overused
for long periods was the only slightest indication that thalidomide
had any untoward effects.
Dr. Kelsey promptly used that data as a basis for more, and
more elaborate nit-picking and inaction. She demanded more
reams of then-unobtainable data. Her position was, at that time,
for the first time, faintly logical— slightly defensible on the basis of
scientifically acceptable data. But it would still be rated as poor
judgment and exaggerated caution. The American pharmaceuti-
cal company seeking to market thalidomide, naturally, was grow-
ing quite impatient with the unjustifiable and indefensible, and
thoroughly illogical delaying tactics that were blocking them.
Neither "womanly intuition" nor "a strong hunch" has ever been
held to constitute adequate grounds for governmental rulings,
and precognition isn't considered to exist.
A German doctor was the first to suspect thalidomide of its
actual disastrous characteristic— and it was November 15, 1961
that he first warned the Grunenthal company that he suspected
their thalidomide preparation of being responsible for the "seal-
THE LESSON OF THALIDOMIDE J
baby" epidemic then appearing in Germany. At this time his
data was still too scanty for him to make a definite statement. His
first public discussion— "public" in the sense that it was made to
an official medical group meeting in Germany— was on Novem-
ber 20, 1961— and then he was not in a position to state that tha-
lidomide was responsible, but merely to say he strongly suspected
a certain drug, which he did not name.
At this point in the development of the problem, data came in
very rapidly; within a month thalidomide's danger was clearly
recognized . . . and only then did Dr. Kelsey's inaction on
the licensing application become absolutely defensible.
That the United States was saved from this disaster was not
—repeat not— due to any scientific, logical, reasonable or
even justifiable action. It was due to those totally indefensible
and anathematized things, "a hunch" and/or "woman's in-
That Dr. Kelsey's hunch was one hundred per cent valid has
nothing whatever to do with whether it was logical; for all I
can know, she may have perfect and reliable trans-temporal clair-
voyance, so that, in i960, she was reading the medical reports
published in late 1961, and basing her decisions very logically
on that trans-temporal data.
The essential point is that no possible logical method can pre-
vent another thalidomide-like disaster.
If the Federal Drug Administration can recruit a staff of expert
crystal-ball gazers, tea-leaf readers and Tarot-card shufflers, it
might be possible for the F.D.A. to rule correctly on all future
drug licensing applications. Nothing short of genuine precognition
can prevent such disasters completely.
Let's imagine the most completely and perfectly conservative,
cautious, experimental program we can think of that will still
allow some progress in medicine.
Suppose we require the following steps:
1. Careful and complete animal testing before any human test-
ing is permitted.
2. A two-year test period on a very limited number of human
8 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
beings so that, if there is some joker in the deck, it will afflict only
a small number of people at worst.
3. A second two-year test on a larger number of patients— say
about ten thousand people.
4. Released as a prescription medication only for another two-
year period, so that close observation can be maintained.
Sounds reasonable and conservative? And yet there are a few
known instances where a substance has a time-bomb effect so
delayed that as much as fifteen years may elapse before the
deadly effect appears. Beryllium dust poisoning is one example of
a time-delay bomb. If you inhale BeO dust, it definitely wont
hurt you a bit right away— and cases of a fifteen-year delay have
Inasmuch as we now have pretty good indication that genetic
information is carried as a chemical code on protein molecules, it's
conceivable that a substance might be discovered which affected
only the genetic cells of unborn babies. That one would first begin
to show its effects about eighteen years after it went into use.
(Yes, some girls affected by the stuff would start having babies at
thirteen or so . . . but not until a large number of affected in-
dividuals had babies would the statistical numbers become large
enough for credibility and identification.)
So even a very, very cautious five-year system wouldn't catch
all the time-bomb drugs.
And we cant run a fifty-year program like that! If someone
finds a cancer cure today, will the world wait until our grand-
children demonstrate that it has no hidden menace, do you
And as to that cautious, two-year-plus-two-year program . . .
thalidomide would have been licensed with flying colors!
Test 1 is the animal test. Thalidomide proved completely harm-
less—in fact completely ineffective!— to the usual laboratory an-
imals. (Since the blowup, it's been found that enormous doses
of thalidomide will not make a rabbit sleep . . . but will cause
a pregnant rabbit to produce abnormal young. Equally massive
doses of barbiturates don't do that; they kill the rabbit. It wouldn't
have indicated anything to the investigators except that thalid-
omide was safer than barbiturates! And it has now been dis-
THE LESSON OF THALIDOMIDE Q
covered that, for reasons so far known only to God, thalidomide
does make horses sleep! But who uses horses as "convenient lab-
oratory animals for testing new drugs"? And why should they;
horses are herbivores, with a metabolism quite a long way from
Man's. Monkeys are expensive— and they don't really match
Test 2— trying it on a small group of patients first.
Now the first slight indication that thalidomide could have some
bad side-effects was that neuritis business. It results from pro-
longed overuse of the drug.
The doctors administering the first test-use of the new drug
would, of course, regulate it carefully. There would be no long-
continued overuse under their administration— and therefore tha-
lidomide wouldn't have produced any neuritis.
On that first, limited-sample test, there would be an inevitable,
human tendency to avoid pregnant young women as test sub-
jects for so experimental a drug.
Result: thalidomide would have checked in as one hundred per
cent safe and effective.
The final two-year test was several thousand people. On this
one we don't have to guess; we've got the statistics.
During the time thalidomide was being considered by the Fed-
eral Drug Administration for licensing in this country, selected
physicians in the United States were sent supplies of the drug
for experimental use.
Under this program, 15,904 people are known to have taken
the pills. Certainly that's a good-sized second-level testing group
for our proposed hyper-cautious test system.
Of those nearly 16,000 people, about 1 in 5— 3,272— were
women of child-bearing age, and 207 of them were pregnant at
There were no abnormal babies born, and no cases of poly-
Thalidomide passed the cautious tests with flying colors.
Now the abnormalities that thalidomide does cause are some
kind of misdirection of the normal growth-forces of the foetus.
The abnormalities are of a type that was well known to medicine
10 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
long before thalidomide came along— abnormal babies have been
produced for all the years the human race has existed, re-
Suppose that in our test, some women did bear abnormal
babies. Say three of them were abnormal, and lived. (A goodly
number of the thalidomide-distorted babies died within hours. It
doesn't only affect arms and legs; thalidomide can mix up the
internal organs as though they had been stirred with a spoon.)
So . . . ? So what? Aren't a certain number of abnormal babies
appearing all the time anyway? And with all this atomic-bomb
testing going on . . . and this woman was examined repeatedly
by X ray during pregnancy . . . and remember that in the normal
course of nine months of living, she will have taken dozens of
other drugs, been exposed to uncountable other environmental
influences, perhaps been in a minor automobile accident . . .
Not until the drug is "tested" on literally millions of human be-
ings will it be possible to get sufficiently numerous statistical
samplings to be able to get significant results. Toss a coin three
times, and it may come heads every time. This proves coins fall
heads-up when tossed?
Another drug was introduced for experimental testing some
years ago. The physicians who got it were told to check their ex-
perimental patients carefully for possibilities of damage to liver,
stomach and/or kidneys, the expected possible undesirable side-
effects of the drug. Practically no such damage was found— the
drug was effective, and only in the very exceptional patient
caused sufficient liver, stomach or kidney reaction to indicate it
should be discontinued.
Only it caused blindness.
The reaction was frequent and severe enough to make the drug
absolutely impossible as a medicament— and was totally unex-
pected. It had not caused any such reaction in any of the ex-
No— the lesson of thalidomide is quite simple.
So long as human beings hope to make progress in control of
disease and miseiy, some people will be lost in the exploration of
THE LESSON OF THALIDOMIDE 11
There is no way to prevent that. There is no possible system of
tests that can avoid it— only minimize the risk.
We could, of course, simply stop trying new drugs at all.
The animals never did try the pain and the risk of fire.
They're still animals, too.
I am strongly in favor of rigidly segregated schools, and I believe
that you are, in fact, in agreement with me— that it is absolutely
necessary for the continuation of the United States in the terms
we know it that our schools be segregated considerably more
rigidly than they are today.
The liberals and do-gooders and those with special advantages
to be gained have brought about changes in our schools, in our
entire educational system, that is becoming an acute menace to
America— and the Supreme Court decision such as the Brown vs.
Board of Education case (the basic case in the integration cases
in the southern schools during the last decade) was a serious
In the above statements, I am not referring to racial segrega-
tion, however. I'm referring instead to the overlooked and enor-
mously critical problem of segregation by individual student
The reason why the Negro segregation case, Brown vs. Board of
Education, is so unfortunately tied up in the mess, is that it has
been the basis for suits that do, in fact, make for improper integra-
tion of students of completely different, and noncompatible in-
herent learning ability.
The tremendous fuss and furore going on throughout the nation
over Negro integration— racial integration in general— has so con-
centrated attention on that one completely unimportant factor
that the really important factors of inherent individual differences
have been violently suppressed.
And when I say that racial difference is a "completely unim-
portant factor," I mean that— and that proposition is, in actuality,
what the most rabid integrationist NAACP member holds, too.
That racial differences are not important.
The trouble underlying all this boiling-over racism is a com-
plicated mass of snarled-up thinking, and horribly ill-defined
terms. No one of the groups most violently involved in the dispute
has done a half-way honest job of analysis of the facts involved;
each is acting on violently emotional Doctrines, Dogmas, and
Principles. And none of those doctrines, dogmas or principles has
been defined well enough, by any one of the contending groups,
to make sense of their own position, or that of any of the other
The result is bad enough with respect to general living condi-
tions; its effect on the educational system is not merely bad; it's
I quite deliberately started off this editorial by making a state-
ment that was practically certain to arouse strong antipathy in
many readers— for the specific purpose of making it clear that
you, too, have been suckered into falling for a propagandist's
definition of "segregation" to such an extent that it's almost im-
possible today to read a statement without reacting to that propa-
ganda—value. Just what does "segregation" mean? What's "a
Any non-co-educational school is segregated by sex.
We have rigidly segregated washrooms all over this country,
not just in the South. Segregated by sex. And don't get sloppy in
your thinking and say, "But that's natural! How else could it be?"
Remember that neither the highly civilized Japanese, nor the
Finns consider it "natural."
I noticed in a Savannah, Georgia, paper the other day that a
Negro and a white woman were contending for some elective
office in a local campaign. A century ago, both contenders
would "naturally" have been barred.
"Segregation" means Negro-vs.-white, does it? For Pete's sake,
friend, please straighten up your thinking and your terminology
enough so that rational communication, outside of the
propaganda-broadside method, is possiblel
"To segregate" means nothing more than separation of a mixed
collection into groups having deteiTninably different characteris-
tics. Like segregating ripe fruit from green fruit.
The Brown vs. Board of Education case didn't make segre-
gation, as such, illegal; it made segregation on the basis of race
14 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
alone illegal. It's still perfectly legal to have a school rigidly segre-
gated on the basis of sex, of course. Or segregated on the basis of
blindness, or on the basis of requiring that all registrants have
graduate degrees before being admitted.
The trouble with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision
stems not from law, but from libertarian assumptions that were
built into that case, and from "scientific evidence" that seems to
be definitely inadequate, and which has been attacked as actually
Propaganda can produce some results that are straight out of
fantasy, fairy stories, and the Alice books. Propaganda has the
wonderful characteristic that Adolf Hitler— one of history's most
expert and effective propagandists— very clearly stated; a he
told often and loud enough will overcome truth. Particularly if a
considerable number of people would like to have it be true.
Then the Big Lie becomes That Which Should Be True Whether
It Is Or Not . . . and dedicated believers in the He arise to make
Among the Big Lies of current cultural propaganda are a set of
meaningless noises that sound like important, deeply philosophi-
cal Truths— because they strike many people as being desirable.
Among examples are:
"Everyone has a right to his own opinion, so long as it doesn't
interfere with anyone else."
"All men are equal."
"What goes up must come down."
"There's nothing new under the Sun."
You can extend that list of philosophical-sounding noises al-
most as far as the trajectory of Mariner II . . . which went up,
isn't going to come down, and is a new satellite of the Sun. They
all sound important, and they can be quoted with the
philosophical-authoritative pompousness appropriate at various
times when they support your dearly-beloved position, so they
tend to seem as though they ought to be true whether they are or
not, so they just must be true.
That business about opinions, now; what does the stupid thing
mean? That you are free to think anything you want to, no matter
how insane it may be, so long as no one else has the slightest
interest in what you think. So long as your ideas aren't of any
importance whatever, to anyone else, and don't influence your
behavior in any degree that bothers anyone else, you can think
anything you darned well like, and nobody will give a damn.
Note carefully that if you decide you want to be a hermit,
however, that interferes with other people's opinions; they have
the opinion you should work for a living, for instance, so under
that doctrine of no-interference, you do not have a right to the
opinion "I want to be a hermit" since it does interfere with some-
The problem is, was, and always will be "What rights exist be-
tween people when opinions do interfere?" Obviously there's no
problem so long as opinions don't clash! That silly-season state-
ment about non-interfering opinions is, of course, a perfectly
sound proposition to answer a problem that never exists.
So . . . let's have some thinking about what to do when opin-
ions do seriously, definitely, interfere; that is the real, human
As to "all men are equal," that bit of nonsense is equally
meaningless. Can you tell me one, single respect in which men
are equal? Equal before God? Not if you accept any of the reli-
gions which hold that God segregates sinners from saints! And
offhand I can't think of any religion which holds that God (or
the Gods) don't judge, evaluate, and make distinctions between
"Equal before the Law?" Oh . . . yeah . . . ? You mean a
man of IQ 50 is held to have the same responsibilities and duties
as a man of IQ 150? That all men must pay equal taxes? That
some men, who are licensed doctors, don't have, under the law,
special rights and special duties? That attorneys don't have spe-
cial rights, privileges and duties before the law? (An attorney
can't be summoned to jury duty. )
The difficulty is that God decided for reasons not clear to us
that men should not be equal— and He created them with in-
herent differences. And men cannot undo that fact. But doc-
trinaires can sure try!
The deadly part of it is that men can make unequal individuals
equal by one method; they can cripple the strong, until the best
l6 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
has been sabotaged down to the level of the worst. They can take
away the "unfair advantage" of the intelligent by crippling his
abilities, punishing his achievements, and destroying his powers,
until he is less competent than the normal. In times past, Kings
and Tyrants held that they held the "power of Life and Death";
no King or Tyrant in all history has ever held the power of Life.
They have, however, held the power of death and destruction
The doctrinaire— the Tyrant Liberal— today, holds that ancient
power of Death and Destruction— and that is his weapon to
achieve what he Just Knows is Right and Just— to make all men
equal, despite God's unfairness in making some men more capa-
ble than others.
In the current cultural situation, it's been made easy to see that
intransigent southern segregationists are seeking to suppress the
competent individual Negro, to make him less-than-equal to the
What's not so easy to see in the fog of emotionalism, is that the
libertarians and do-gooders are seeking to suppress the unusually
competent individual of any race for the achievement of their
doctrinal ideal of equality.
Here's where the trouble comes: a school system that "rewards"
the more-competent student with more work, harder tasks— and
no increased privilege, no increased status or desirable reward is,
in fact, effectively punishing his display of ability. Suppose the
reward for superior achievement in the classroom— finishing the
assigned tasks more quickly— was being given the "privilege" of
scrubbing the floors, polishing the windows, and tending the
school grounds. Or running errands for the students who were
slower and hadn't finished their assignments yet.
Who would, obviously, be the "second-class citizens" of that
school? The students who were so stupid they acted bright, of
Such a system of punishment-for-extra-achievement is almost
inevitable in a school not segregated by intelligence and ability.
For any individual, a certain level of problem represents a stimu-
lating challenge; a higher level of difficulty becomes an over-
whelming task that defeats him, discourages, and drives him to
withdraw his effort. A too-low level of task simply bores him,
and he will seek more interesting tasks, or seek to do the assigned
task in some more stimulating manner.
The extra-competent, in a randomly selected class, will present
to the normal and subnormal the fact that the work can be done
with ease, quickly, and simply— that it can be done offhand as a
sort of game. They slap the dullards in the face with the clear
fact that children their own age— not just teachers!— can do that
work offhand. The honors student who finally gets around to
doing the term paper the last weekend before it's due . . . and
earns an A-f for one afternoon's work, while the rest of the class
spent four to six weeks researching and rewriting to get a pass-
The super-competent, too, can earn the enmity of the teacher
in a normal school. Karl Frederick Gauss, for instance, could have
expected to be punished for one trick he pulled. In a grade-
school arithmetic class, when he was about seven, the teacher
had told the class to add all the numbers from 1 to 100— this
being a good way to keep the children usefully busy while the
teacher got some of his own work done.
Young Karl Frederick, however, was up with his answer in
about two minutes. Young Karl Frederick had not added all the
numbers from 1 to 100; he'd developed for himself the formula
for the sum of a series of numbers, and instead of ivorking the
problem, had solved it— in a matter of seconds. His answer was,
of course, absolutely correct— which took the teacher some min-
utes to check.
But young Gauss was lucky beyond expectation; that teacher
was wise. He recommended Gauss to the local Duke as a proper
subject for patronage; Gauss' family was poor and could not have
given him an education.
In an educational system dedicated to the problem of produc-
ing equality— such a teacher is out of place. That teacher was not
producing equality; by seeing that Gauss got special reward for
remarkable ability, the teacher exaggerated an already existant
Unsegregated schools are injurious to the subnormal and the
l8 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
geniuses alike. The subnormal, discouraged and overwhelmed by
the equality-for-all problems presented them, withdraw from the
hopeless effort of education, and achieve far less than their al-
ready limited potentials. An equality-for-all school does not allow
the less-talented to develop the maximum of the abilities they do
And it does not allow the abnormally competent to develop
their high talents. It's stupid to expect a normal school teacher,
herself oriented to everybody-ought-to-be-equal and nobody-has-
a-right-to-special-advantages, to welcome the idea of some ten-
year-old who can outthink her, penetrate the errors of her logic,
call her on sloppy statements, and do a job of research in the
library such that the teacher is forced to acknowledge her lack of
information on her subject.
But . . . now we run into a very nasty aspect of the Brown vs.
Board of Education decision, and its subsequent development.
Recently, several towns in New Jersey have been forced to
"integrate" their "segregated" schools; the basis of the NAACP
suit was that one school had a ninety per cent Negro enrollment,
and the other a ninety per cent white enrollment. This, they con-
tended, constituted de facto racial segregation.
That particular town had a population distribution by areas
that made that the natural result. The NAACP was, of course,
just as hotly against that sort of population distribution— but that
wasn't the legal point in the case.
It was decided that because of the fact that registration did not
show a proportional representation by race, that therefore there
was de facto segregation.
That is not a logical or valid conclusion.
It certainly falls in the class of "data insufficient for the con-
Yet that is an accepted proposition— and that proposition alone
would be enough to cause great difficulty in setting up
There is a never rigorously proven assumption that's thrown
around in all racial arguments that all races show the same dis-
tribution curve of intelligence and ability. That has not been
There's adequate evidence to the contrary, available from a
number of lines of analysis. First, in a normal distribution curve,
the number of individuals— in a statistically significant large popu-
lation—in any one range gives the scale of the curve; from the
curve, then, the number in any other range can be predicted.
That is, if we find one hundred twenty-five high geniuses at IQ
180, knowing the shape of the distribution curve, we can predict
how many individuals of IQ 100 there will be in this population,
Now if all races have the same distribution curve, then knowing
the population of the group, we can predict how many super-high
geniuses will appear.
Something seems to be wrong; some gears slipped somewhere.
The assumptions don't match the facts. The Caucasian race has
produced super-high-geniuses by the dozen in the last five thou-
sand years; the Oriental race has, also. The Negro race has not.
And it's the super-high geniuses, not the ordinary, or run-of-the-
mill geniuses, that lift a people from one level of civilization to
another. The Industrial Revolution, for example, depended on a
number of super-high-geniuses, backed up by a corps of high
geniuses, working with an army of geniuses. The super-high-
geniuses are never educated; they educate themselves, because
there's no one around to teach them. Who could teach Abraham
Lincoln, for instance? Who could teach Leonardo da Vinci? Cer-
tainly Newton did have formal schooling— but the schools he at-
tended were attended by a lot of other young men, and there
does not seem to have been any sudden flood of Newtons coming
from them. "Educational opportunities" never exist anywhere for
The fact that the Caucasian race has produced more super-
high-geniuses in the last five thousand years suggests that the
distribution curve for the Caucasian race does not in fact match
that of other races.
I'm not talking about text-book type psychological-testing
geniuses here; I'm talking about the individual of super-high,
unmatchable pragmatic achievement. Anyone who says that
Newton wasn't a super-high genius is off his rocker.
These super-high geniuses produced achievement that pro-
20 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
moted the survival ability and adaptability of their race. Pasteur
made it possible for men to adapt to disease-saturated areas by
intellectual act that had, theretofore, been uninhabitable save by
the slow process of genetic selection and evolution. This achieve-
ment made men more adaptable.
You don't have to rate those achievements in any special cul-
tural terms— increased adaptability is the pay-off coin in the evo-
lution of living things! The great chemists made it possible for
human beings to eat rocks, drink petroleum, and be nourished.
The race is more adaptable because of their genius— and that is
a positive gain in absolute, not merely cultural, terms!
There is an indication, then, that the white race may in actual
fact have a distribution curve that does not match that of the
Note the important factor in citing the super-high geniuses;
educational opportunities play no part whatever in the develop-
ment of any super-high genius. There is not, never was, and never
can be anywhere or anywhen, in any land or race, a school for
educating super-high geniuses. The thing that characterize the
super-high genius is his ability to self-educate to totally new and
hitherto undiscovered horizons. They are always self-made men.
Newton needed calculus to solve his gravitational problems— and
he lacked the educational opportunity. Nobody ever taught him
calculus. So he had to invent it.
Karl Frederick Gauss wasn't taught to find the sum of a series
of numbers; he invented it.
The super-high genius, then, is an indicator of a people that is
not dependent on educational opportunities— because the oppor-
tunities never exist for any of them!
And there is other and more ordinary evidence that propor-
tional representation of races is not the right answer.
To carry out a really wide-spread, long-continued, massive test-
ing program, involving tens of thousands of individuals, and keep-
ing track of them for some years, is an expensive proposition.
The money for such a program is not easy to come by.
Most of the discussions of racial distribution of intelligence has
been based on pretty limited samples, or quite inadequate testing.
The old WWI Army Alpha intelligence test results, for instance,
are still among the few massive test-score result records, and
are still being used simply because they're available.
The schools system of Savannah, Georgia, since 1954, has car-
ried out a massive testing program. Standard IQ tests, Mental
maturity tests, and scholastic achievement tests were given to all
students in the Savannah school system, and punched-card
records kept for nine years, and the results computer analyzed.
The results showed that, at beginning grade-school level, the
Negro children had a fifteen per cent crossover with the white
children's scores. (That is, fifteen per cent of the Negro children
scored at or above the level of the norm of the white children. )
At high school level, the crossover had dropped to two per cent.
Now let's just consider for a moment the emotional fireworks
that would result from setting up a school system that was
strictly, honestly segregated purely by individual student com-
petence, simply using those figures for discussion purposes.
Assume that we have a city with a fifty-fifty distribution of
Negro and white population, and that we set up two school sys-
tems; one for those above the white norm, and one for those be-
low that norm.
The Doctrine, Dogma and Principles boys will be out for Hell
and hallelujah. Both sides will be. The intransigent white segrega-
tionists will be shrieking in defense of their violated Principle of
the Color Bar. Their howls of rage will be exceeded, however,
by the violent anguish of the NAACP, at the destruction of their
Principle of Proportional Representation. But those howls won't
be audible above the far louder and angrier screams of the
parents of the children who have been officially designated "in-
competent; second-class citizen." The whites will, of course, be
peculiarly violent about that, because that's precisely what
they've been afraid of for a century or so— the admission that
some Negroes are superior to some whites.
The acute psychological pain resulting from such a system will
be very real indeed— and will, curiously, bring the underlying
principles of the Brown vs. Board of Education case into the
thing in a sort of back-handed manner!
The basis for the Supreme Court's decision in Brown vs. Board
22 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
of Education was testimony by a psychologist that segregation
imposed psychological hurt on the rejected Negro children.
The Court's decision, then, was, in effect, that it was illegal to
cause someone psychological hurt.
So we now have a very interesting question that needs resolu-
tion; if it hurts an individual to be told the truth, is it illegal-
unconstitutional— to make him aware of that truth? Of course,
that general idea is part of our present cultural philosophy— the
poor, misguided sadist shouldn't be made unhappy about his
misdeeds. And this poor, disturbed child shouldn't get severe
punishment just because he slugged the corner cigar-store owner,
stole his money, and set fire to his place. It isn't nice to hurt
people; it should never be done, because it isn't Kind and Good
So . . .if it's unconstitutional to cause psychological discomfort,
we can't have segregated-by-intelligence schools; they'll make
some people extremely unhappy.
And if segregation-by student-ability turns out— as we have
reason to expect— to produce a system in which proportional rep-
resentation of races does not exist . . . why, we can't have segre-
gation by ability for that reason either.
Then, of course, the liberal-do-gooder group just knows every-
body should be equal, whether they are or not, and they know
that schools are intended to produce equality, not education
All in all, practically everybody has motivations for wanting the
present unsegregated school system to continue in American edu-
The problem the United States faces is very simple: We have
developed the highest standard of living the world has ever
known, by developing the potentials of technology— of applied
But this process has certain penalties; it is, in a very real
sense, a specialization in the evolutionary sense. Now we have
developed this technology, we cannot do without it. The popula-
tion which we are, today, supporting in luxury could not be sup-
ported, even at a subsistence level, without technology. Those
wheat surpluses that are troubling the nation aren't due to the
innate fertility of the soil; they're due to applied agricultural
science— to biochemistry and genetic science and soil technology.
The civilization that we in America know today is based on
and dependent on high-level technology— and that of course
means high-level technicians.
Inasmuch as men are not equal, not all boys can be trained to
be technicians— and it is the sheerest insanity, the sheerest re-
fusal to face reality, to believe for a moment that all children can
be so trained. Only those children originally gifted with the re-
quired potentials can have those potentials developed into the
Now an educational system dedicated to the proposition that
if all men aren't equal, we re gonna teach 'em to be, can only
equalize men downward— it has the power of death, but not the
power of life. The power of Life is reserved to God— and any
people that mistakes itself for a collective form of Diety is
Today, despite long and loud campaigns for more young
scientists, our technical schools are getting fewer applicants than
they were before— fewer registrants from an increasing popula-
The medical profession is having serious troubles, too. The
doctors in most communities now are working fifty hours a week
routinely, and sixty hours a week commonly— and they do not do
so because they get paid time and a half for overtime. I men-
tioned that doctors represent a group of men who are not equal
before the law; their inequality seems to be resented. Certainly
the public is making life miserable for them. A doctor is required
by law to stop and render aid if he passes a highway accident—
and today they hate to do so, because it quite commonly means a
malpractice suit. The man the doctor saves by his emergency
treatment is quite apt to sue for a few hundred thousand dollars;
you see everybody knows that doctors carry insurance, and you
can always get somebody to get on the stand and prove that his
hindsight is better than the sued doctor's foresight, and testify
that if such and such had been done, maybe the patient wouldn't
have the scars he has.
24 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
In the Great American Lottery— suing after an accident— it
pays better to sue the doctor that saved your life than the man
who nearly killed you; doctors carry bigger insurance policies.
And besides, them there rich doctors oughta pay fer things; no-
body's got any business being rich, cause people are equal, ain't
Medical schools for some reason are having difficulty getting
enough registrants— even when they rather desperately lower
their standards for admittance. Anybody who chooses medicine
as a career today has to be pretty much of a peculiar type; his
reward for saving lives is malpractice suits. He's required to work
fifty to sixty hours a week . . .
Then we have another interesting technological problem. It's
the problem of interconnections and interactions among com-
municating units. The telephone people ran into it long ago;
when you double the number of telephone subscribers, you don't
just double the number of switching connections required— it
increases exponentially. The original system was handled by hu-
man operators; as it became more complex, machine-switching
became essential. As of now, to handle the telephone switching
problem in New York City, even if all employable women in the
service area were employed as operators, the system would be
unable to function.
As intercommunication increases, the problem of switching in-
That's happening in the problem of business organization. The
number of interacting businesses in this country today is so great
that the number of business executives required is also straining
the limits of our capacity. But the "switching" involved there is
decision-making, judgment-application— which is the factor ma-
chines can't handle.
It takes human beings of trained potential— men trained to
think, think accurately and quickly.
A breakdown in any one of those three areas— science tech-
nology, medical technology or business technology— will mean
a collapse that will be most interesting to historians of the future.
It will be the first time in history that a culture collapsed be-
cause of the failure of the educational system.
Never before has a culture been dependent on efficient educa-
tion, so it has never before been possible.
It won't be at all interesting to those involved. Old-timers will
be talking about the good old happy days of the early 1930s, when
all we had to worry about was a Depression.
If the Supreme Court finds that the Constitution forbids segre-
gated schools that make the incompetent unhappy— then it's time
to start a campaign for a constitutional amendment that holds
that Truth is never illegal, no matter how painful it may be.
"YOU'RE PROBABLY DEAD . . ."
1 Statistics show that over 98 per cent of all individuals
born are now dead.
2 Therefore you're probably dead now.
Well . . . ? It's perfectly logical isn't it?
You won't find that term in any dictionary that I know of, nor
any textbook on psychology, but I think it's a term needed to
describe one of America's most widespread neurotic tendencies.
It means "having a neurotic and excessive fondness for the under-
dog," without having the slightest interest in finding out why he
is in the infra position.
For example, let's consider the poor people that great "war
against poverty" is supposed to help.
Now I've been looking into the situation of a group of people
in one area on the fringe of that Appalachia region who have
some very tough conditions to contend with. Their region is very
backward, very underdeveloped, and astonishingly underindus-
trialized. The people in that area aren't able to buy tractors, and
have to do all their farming— most of them are farmers— entirely
by their own hard work. They don't even have electric power,
and hence no electric lights or power-driven equipment. Of
course that also means no radio or television for relief, during the
long evenings, from the hard work of tiieir living. Their children
can't go to the public schools. They don't have automobiles to get
around in, but travel by horse and buggy. These poor people . . .
Oh, you know about the Amish people, huh? You've seen their
beautiful, lush farms, their big, sturdy barns and their spotlessly-
kept homes? Well, I know they almost universally have good, fat
bank accounts, but aren't they "poor people" in that they don't
have the conveniences of modern life?
Well, what do you mean by "poor people"? Perhaps you mean
"poor" in the sense of "genetically incompetent, lacking the quali-
ties of intelligence, ambition, self-respect and determination
necessary to adequate accomplishment." Certainly the Amish
aren't "poor people" in that sense; what they have proven a man
—and this does, of course, mean he has to be a man, not a whim-
pering bum— can accomplish with his own muscles, using intelli-
gence, determination, and willingness to work adequately
demonstrates that they aren't "poor" genetically.
The next time some victim of hyperinfracaniphilia tells you
how this, that or the other group or individual "didn't have a
proper chance/' it may be appropriate to compare the situation
of the named group or individual with the standard Pennsyl-
vania Dutch situation. What would have happened to an Amish
family dropped into the situation? Would they be living in a
leaky shack, in ragged clothes, unwashed, ill-fed, and penniless?
Take a run through the areas full of those "poor people," look
at the tumbling shacks, slovenly men and women, the TV anten-
nas decorating every ill-patched roof, the fairly late-model auto-
mobile standing in the ruts across the grassless lawn— and not so
much as a well-tended vegetable garden in the empty acres of
land. They've got electricity, TV, a car . . . and are ill-clothed,
ill-fed, and ill-housed in an area where there's acres of unused
Oh, it's poor land, that won't raise good crops?
You can't teach those people anything useful, so it would be
useless to import some Scottish farmers, men accustomed to farm-
ing barren, treeless hillsides, with soil leached of practically all
plant nutrient by the nearly ceaseless rains, with a growing season
shortened by the fact that they're as far north as Hudson's Bay—
and men not accustomed to whining about their hard lot.
You won't see any sheep on the hillsides in Appalachia, either,
nor appropriate breeds of cattle. Sheep yield wool as well as meat,
which, with a bit of effort, can be turned into excellent clothing—
without the need for a major industrial complex. Ask your near-
There is a great deal of talk, too, about the selfishness of the
better-off people, and the hyperinfracaniphilia type insists that
we should help these poor people.
It is certainly true that those poor people are completely un-
selfish. No one can accuse them of having done anything for them-
selves, and isn't it held that the mark of selfishness is that you do
things for your own interest?
How can you help people who are so unselfish that they practi-
28 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
cally never do anything for themselves? Of course you can re-
build their shacks, make new clothes for them, and guarantee
them a life-time supply of quick-frozen TV dinners . . . but the
new clothes are no better than the old. They don't keep them-
selves clean, repair their own careless rips and burns, or adjust
size to match growing children. The new houses aren't a bit bet-
ter than the old; their windows break, and the wind lifts shingles
just the same, and the poor people living in them know they've
The great advantage of nudity is that the animal or human
skin is self-repairing— and arranged to encourage the wearer to
avoid carelessness in the matter of rips and burns— reasonably
self-cleaning, and self-adjusting to the changes in the wearer's
size and/or shape.
The advantage of free forest living is that trees— although they
do constitute a somewhat leaky roof— are self-replacing, self-
repairing, and if one falls down, there are always others you can
move under. There's no work involved.
These completely unselfish poor people, however, are not really
interested in forest living, because of the lack of adequate TV
entertainment, and the unsatisfactory food supply.
It is not a matter of poor education, either. Let's get that non-
sense out of the way. Abraham Lincoln had a darned sight less in
the way of economic, social, or educational opportunities than
the poor people of Appalachia have. And, moreover, millionaire
scions graduating from Harvard turn out to be just as totally
unselfish— they won't do a thing for themselves— as the worst of
The best way to express the problem, I think, is to recognize
that no matter how you heat-treat or work a piece of cast iron,
you're not going to make a usable spring out of it. There are,
however, a wide variety of steel alloys which, given different,
but appropriate heat and work treatments, will yield springs. And
there are alloys which make highly effective springs in a straight
as-cast condition. In analogy, you can't educate a piece of cast
iron— and there are some alloys that don't need to be educated;
they have the wanted characteristics built in. Plenty of individuals
have proven resoundingly that a man who has that education-
absorption characteristic gets his education even if it's clearly
impossible. The Negroes who complain so bitterly about poor
educational opportunities, for instance, should consider George
Washington Carver's life a bit more carefully; he, like Abraham
Lincoln, saw to it he got an education, despite the near-
impossibility of the conditions he faced. These were selfish men
indeed; they worked hard doing something for themselves, in-
stead of whimpering to have others do it for them.
Michael Faraday did it in science. How about "Joseph Conrad,"
an essentially uneducated Polish seaman who decided to write in
a language— English— other than his native tongue because his
works would have a wider market.
Certainly there will always be a great majority of individuals
who don't have that tremendous level of built-in drive and deter-
mination—people who can, with adequate educational oppor-
tunity become useful, self-supporting and self-respecting citizens
who, without that external help, would gravitate to the "unselfish"
category of those who don't do things for themselves. The alloys
that make powerful and highly elastic springs in the as-cast con-
dition are few, highly expensive, and seldom used, too; practically
all springs are the result of starting with a good, workable alloy,
and applying heat and work treatments— educating an educable
But to hold that all alloys are educable to the same degree is
absolute nonsense. What school was it that turned out Einstein?
Did they operate that school only once, for one individual, for
Now one of the most important aspects of education for the
low-grade student is convincing him that he damned well better
learn as much as he himself is able to— because if he doesn't work
at it, he's going to pay for his laziness in future misery and dis-
The hyperinfracaniphiliac however, is busy assuring the infe-
rior human alloy individuals that they should, indeed, be unselfish
—and let other people support them. They are repeatedly assured
that they don't have to exert any extra effort, because they will be
30 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
assured equal rewards in our society, even if they don't work.
Why shouldn't the "drop-out" drop out? Go ahead, sucker-
work and get all that education, and get a job. So what does it
get you, huh? The drop-out gets welfare, relief, unemployment
payments, et cetera, and antipoverty supplies, and has three hun-
dred sixty-five holidays a year, and a lot more orators defending
him, discussing his good, unselfish attitude than you have defend-
What pressure is there to make the lower end of the ability
scale even try to develop himself? He could, with some real effort,
achieve considerable development of his limited potentials, and
achieve self-respect— by being selfish, and doing something for
himself. Instead, encouraged by all those hyperinfracaniphiliacs,
he relaxes, stops making even minimal efforts, and achieves self-
respect by listening to the TV orators explaining how he's just as
good as anyone else because he's human, and he has just as much
rights because he's a citizen— he got bom here, which, fortunately,
takes no effort whatever on his part.
Why should this individual of low inherent ability try to make
the most of his limited potentials?
You, poor sucker, were born not only with potentials, but with
a drive to use them. ( Or you wouldn't have achieved an educa-
tional level that makes this magazine interesting to you.) You're
stuck with being selfish, and working for your own development.
He isn't— so why should he, since he will be honored, respected,
and fed without working?
The hyperinfracaniphiliacs are establishing a situation with the
interesting characteristic that those individuals born with rela-
tively low potentials are strongly encouraged to not develop what
talents they have! If he doesn't try at all, he can't fail— and he
will retain self-respect because he is assured that he is Human
and a Citizen and An Underprivileged Man to whom The Society
He doesn't try, therefore doesn't fail; if he did make a real
effort, and fully recognized that his abilities were limited, he
wouldn't have the comforting self-respect of accepting that he is,
really, Just As Good As Any Other Man. He couldn't feel so
wholeheartedly that he was an Oppressed Victim of Society and
that his poverty was not his own fault.
Poverty doesn't make poor people; poor people make poverty.
The test is quite simple; consider what has happened when a
different type, or group of people has been put in a precisely
It isn't slums that make slum-dwellers; slum-dwellers are a type
of people who, when they move into an area, make slums.
You can not solve that problem by giving poor people goods
and money; they'll make poverty of it. You can't end slums by
moving the slum-dwellers into new, clean, well-built housing—
but you can end the slum by moving non-slum-dwellers into the
dirty, rat-and-louse infested, run-down buildings of the slum. Rat
traps are cheap; DDT is readily available, soap, water, scrub
brushes, paint and paint brushes are readily come by. Most
slum areas have heavy unemployment; how come all those un-
employed people can see nothing to do in their dirty, dilapidated
and unpainted slum homes? How come they keep complaining
about it so loudly, and demanding that somebody should fix it for
Because they're so unselfish, of course.
BREAKTHROUGH IN PSYCHOLOGY!
Life magazine, a few months ago, announced a startling break-
through discovery in psychology made at a California research
clinic. Some psychologists there had come up with the amazing
discovery that punishment— hurting a child deliberately, for cause
—actually helps children to grow into sounder personalities.
This startling discovery comes a little late, however. It seems to
have been anticipated some hundreds of millions of years ago,
when mammals first developed from the reptilian predecessors.
The psychological doctrine of "Mustn't punish a child; it might
hurt his precious little ego" derives strictly from the reptilian
division of die animal kingdom. They never punish their young.
They're apt to eat them, of course, if they encounter them— but
there's nothing of intent to hurt; it's simple hunger that motivates
The greatest of the mammalian inventions was not live birth-
some of the earliest sharks gave birth to live young. The mammals
invented reward and punishment for their young— guidance.
Punishment was the great mammalian invention— a substitute for
being eaten alive when the individual made a mistake.
Of course, the Freudian notion that "sex is the only instinct"
explains the young animal's tendency to seek the mother on the
basis of an Oedipus Complex, overlooking the fact that young
mammals are thermotropic and hungry and could— just possibly
—have certain other instinctual drives.
After some 150 megayears, it's reasonable to suppose that
young mammals have a built-in expectation of being guided by
punishment and reward— and that failure to offer that guidance
introduces stresses into the young mammal. Certainly failure to
give reward— affection and attention— is known to have a literally
lethal effect on human babies. It's been proven that babies given
every objective necessity of life— food, warmth, cleanliness, ex-
cellent medical care— have a near one hundred per cent death
BREAKTHROUGH IN PSYCHOLOGY! 33
rate if they get only the objective necessities. But a baby born in
a cold drizzle, deprived of shelter, under-nourished by a half-
starved mother, survives and grows— if that half-starved mother
strives to care for it and keep it.
Isn't it reasonable to assume that if one half of the ancient in-
stinctual pattern is necessary, the other might be, too? The worst
kind of lie is a half-truth; if you are entering a strange environ-
ment, and I tell you only what you should do, and omit all warn-
ings of danger, things you should not do, I could arrange very
neatly to have you kill yourself.
The psychological dictum of "Punishment is bad; it is mere de-
sire for vengeance," has, of course, seeped over into the sociology
of our times. The trite and stupid argument that punishing a
criminal does no good, because it's mere vengeance, and capital
punishment is useless because, after all, it has never stopped
murder, takes off happily from that psychological crackpotism.
The argument that punishment doesn't stop crime is equivalent
to saying: "We shouldn't try to stop drunken driving, because
even when we have laws against it, drunks still drive."
It spreads and digs in deeper, and comes up with the wonder-
ful idea that the young criminal shouldn't be clouted for his van-
dalism; he should be gently scolded, and encouraged to do better.
There's the old saying that: "Power corrupts; absolute power
corrupts absolutely." It's a false statement. Power has almost no
correlation with corruption— they're completely independent var-
iables. If it were true, then it would necessarily follow that God
Almighty was the ultimate in corruption.
The true statement is "Immunity corrupts; absolute immunity
The current clamor about "police brutality" stems from the
basic idea that individuals should be free of punishment— i.e.,
that criminals should be immune.
The automatic consequence of that increasing degree of im-
munity is the observed increasing corruption, the increasing van-
dalism of JDs, which recently expressed itself in several hundred
million dollar damages in Los Angeles. The City of the Angels
turned up with some red-hot demons on the loose.
It's worth noting that the total amount of property damage the
34 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Los Angeles vandals did to that city probably exceeded the total
of property destruction the Vandals did to the city of Rome when
they sacked it.
The "brutal" actions of police consist of punishing criminal be-
We have problems— very serious and pressing problems— con-
cerned with social relationships in our culture. And you do not
solve problems by denying that they can possibly really exist, or
by denying that their actual cause could possibly be the cause. If
your car stalls because the ignition wire is broken, filling the gas
tank won't restart it. Cleaning the carburetor won't get it going.
Putting in a new battery doesn't help. You'll eventually have to
repair the ignition wire, one way or another. You might kid your-
self the wire wasn't really at fault by installing a whole new
ignition system— but one way or another you're going to fix that
wire before it runs again.
The immensely destructive riots in Los Angeles, Chicago, and
other cities were not, at the start, primarily racial— they were
mainly the young barbarians against the "police brutality" of
authority that refused to grant them the absolute immunity they
Once started, it snowballed, and the older barbarians joined in
happily. The true Vandal spirit was manifested in their delight in
setting fires that burned out whole blocks of property. They were
revolting in search of "freedom now" in one sense— freedom to
do what they damned well pleased, with no punishment threats,
with total immunity.
Ninety per cent of the Thoughtless Liberals' excuses for the JD,
and for the arrogant defiance of law by many of the Negro "Civil
Rights" groups, has been based on arguments about how terrible
it is to grow up in a ghetto— that such crowding and dirty condi-
tions inescapably breed crime. That it isn't the fault, or the re-
sponsibility of the colored people, but the natural consequence
of such conditions.
That, my friends, is absolutely one hundred per cent obvious
nonsense. It is totally wrong, and strictly propaganda guff.
The simplest evidence is directly available in almost all of our
BREAKTHROUGH IN PSYCHOLOGY! 35
great cities. It isn't a matter of how terrible it is to be physically
marked by skin-color, either.
Take a look at the other "ghetto" of colored people you'll find
in almost every major U.S. city. A ghetto densely populated by
colored people who didn't have a Chinaman's chance, after they
were imported to this country for heavy labor at starvation wages,
for domestic servants, and the like. People marked by differently
shaped features and by skin color, demeaned and rejected,
crowded now into city ghettos.
No Civil Rights movements have sought to better their lot.
Their schools have not been integrated— and until pretty recently,
the White culture didn't offer their children much schooling
But the Chinese sections of our large cities, just as densely
crowded as the Negro sections, will never be confused with them.
In New York City, for instance, Chinatown doesn't remotely re-
semble Harlem. It's one of the cleanest sections of the city— and
it has the lowest crime rate of any section. The crime rate there is
lower than it is for the fancy Park Avenue apartment district.
And it's clean and crime-free not through the special efforts of the
City; the colored people who live there see to it.
I have heard of no complaints whatever concerning "police bru-
tality" coming from Chinese. ( They discipline their own children,
and don't wait for the police to try to do it for them. )
It is absolute nonsense to say that a ghetto automatically pro-
duces dirt and criminals. The Chinese prove that that's a false
There's been a lot of talk about civilian review boards to check
on "police brutality." I have a suggestion. Since the accusations of
brutality come to such a large extent from the Negroes, and are
directed against White police, let's have a board dominated by
racially neutral arbiters— Chinese. I have a strong feeling that
the complainants would howl in dismay at the idea; the Chinese
have the lowest crime rate in the city, which means a solidly
established respect for law, order, and discipline— for nonimmu-
nity. They do not hold that punishment is "mere vengeance," and
practice the alternative proposition, that punishment is necessary
36 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Another standard proposition about ghettos is that they automat-
ically discourage individuals living in them from seeking or even
The term "ghetto" originated with the Jewish districts in Euro-
pean cities. These sections were, therefore, characterized by high
crime rates, excessive juvenile delinquency, and general rejec-
tion of education?
The number of Chinese who have somehow managed to be-
come major scientists— despite the claimed impossibility of
achievement starting in a ghetto, with a colored skin— is worthy
The extent to which men from the Jewish ghettos somehow
overcame that "impossible" problem of education to become a
major force in every intellectual field of endeavor suggests that it
isn't ghetto-living that prevents achievement.
And integrated schools obviously aren't necessary for achieve-
ment, either; the Jews were, for centuries, denied entry to nearly
all the great schools of Europe— and yet somehow managed to
turn out great intellectual leaders for all those centuries.
If you insist on blaming the carburetor for the failure of the car
to start, when it's the ignition wire— you can not solve the
If you insist that it's segregation and ghettos that cause the
problem the Negro faces— you can not solve that problem.
Because that's not where the problem lies.
It's not skin color; the Chinese had that problem, and their
young people are decent, law-abiding, self-disciplined youngsters
who are well-educated and are achieving in many fields.
It's not ghettos and segregated schools. The Jews proved that
didn't matter, centuries ago.
It's not that a history of being rejected and demeaned leaves a
stamp that can't be overcome. The Irish, Jews and Chinese all
encountered the problem. So did the Italians. So did practically
every ethnic group that moved into this continent. (Including
the original Scotch-English settlers, who were very lethally re-
jected by the then-dominant majority.)
The problem seems to lie in this question: What's the difference
between "punishment" and "torture"?
BREAKTHROUGH IN PSYCHOLOGY! 37
Unfortunately, that problem lies in the subjective, not the ob-
jective, realm. Each involves the objective fact of pain deliber-
ately inflicted. But whether that pain reacts on the individual
personality as "punishment" or "torture" depends entirely on the
recipient's interpretation. A flogging rates as "torture" to the in-
dividual who cannot accept that he did anything wrong— and as
"punishment" to an individual who recognizes his own choice
and actions earned what he's getting.
If an individual holds "This is cruel and vicious vengeance this
enemy is inflicting on me," he will undergo torture, and seek to
avenge it in turn.
Another individual, with a different orientation, in the same
situation may hold, "Well, they caught me at it, dammit. I knew
they might— so I get a flogging." This doesn't mean that he agrees
with his punishers— but that he acknowledges that they are pun-
ishing, not torturing, him. That doesn't keep him from continuing
to be a rebel— but it does mean that he doesn't see himself as the
victim of cruel and vengeful and wicked foes. He doesn't pity
Now an individual oriented to the idea that punishment is always
evil and is always mere vengeance— cannot be punished. He can
only be tortured. To him, the police using force to restrain his
vandalism are "brutally" interfering with his Natural Right To Im-
munity—they are torturing him by frustrating his desire to see
that building go up in flames, to loot that liquor store, to smash
the windows and grab those radio and TV sets. To him, any
force used to restrain his unlimited freedom to do what he wants
is torture and brutality.
Because— face it!— any discipline is painful. There are three
kinds of discipline: Universe Discipline, Other People Discipline,
and Self -discipline. But they're all painful. Stick your finger in
boiling water, and you get Universe Discipline. A child who's
slapped away from sticking his finger in a live electric socket is
getting Other People Discipline. When he gets older, he'll keep
his own fingers out of the high- voltage wiring— Self-discipline. But
each kind is painful, for each is an imposed frustration of a desire,
which is psychological or emotional pain.
38 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
The police have as their function the imposition of discipline on
those who lack self-discipline. They rescue children whove fallen
in the pond, or got stuck in pipes, or ran into the street and got
hit by cars. They arrest burglars, rapists, and murderers. Their
business is to supply the Other People Discipline required by
those who lack Self-discipline.
To one who denies that discipline should exist, this is torture.
It's deliberately inflicted pain— emotional pain of frustration at
the very least. Therefore, the police are clearly being brutal; their
brutality is inherent in the fact of their deliberately frustrating
the non-self -disciplined individual's desires.
All of which orientation stems from that lovely piece of crack-
pottery the psychologists introduced: "Punishment is always bad;
it's mere desire for vengeance, and harmful to the child's ego."
The Chinese have a five-thousand-year old traditon of disci-
pline. So do the Jews. They could, and did, live sanely and peace-
fully in the ghettos, in the close-packed living where every in-
dividual is constantly rubbing against every other.
The Irish, when they first came over here, didn't have that
tradition. The Irish created America's first slums, and a reputa-
tion for being a brawling, undependable, dirty, ignorant people.
It took them a couple of generations, but they started by disci-
plining each other, and wound up learning how to live as am-
bitious, but self-disciplined people.
The Chinese have, also, an ancient tradition of "Face"— of the
importance of reputation. The Chinese felt strongly that the be-
havior of any Chinese was a reflection on the reputation— on the
Face— of all Chinese. ( Madison Avenue's taken over the idea and
calls it "Image.") Wherefore, every Chinese felt that the behavior
and earned reputation of every other Chinese was his personal
and direct concern. If one Chinese were a crook, a criminal,
slovenly and lazy— why, it impaired the "Face" of other Chinese,
by indicating that Chinese were such undesirables. If one Chinese
were a cheat— it impaired the reputation, the Face, of other
Chinese. Wherefore the other Chinese took steps to see that the
cheat stopped damaging their Face.
Today, a New York businessman knows he can trust a Chinese
businessman to meet his debts, and to deal honestly. If, for some
BREAKTHROUGH IN PSYCHOLOGY! 39
reason, the Chinese does not meet his debts, one of the Chinese
Societies will pay them in full for him. The Chinese Society will
then deal with the defaulter. The reputation of the Chinese has
been protected— and if the reason for default was an honest one,
the defaulter will be aided in re-establishing himself. If he de-
faulted by reason of cheating, measures will be taken so that he
does not have any desire whatever to repeat.
The brawling, slovenly, shiftless Irish were disciplined in a basi-
cally similar manner by their fellow Irish who, like the Chinese,
felt that what any Irishman did was a reflection on all Irish.
Botii the Chinese idea of Face, and the Irishman's feeling that
he himself would be judged by the behavior of every other Irish-
man, rest on an absolutely one hundred per cent valid mechanism.
The simplest way to express it is in terms of what I call the
"Elsa mechanism," in honor of Elsa, the Lioness. Many of you
have, I'm sure, read the two delightful books about "Elsa'— "Born
Free" and "Living Free," the biography of a wild African lioness
who was raised from orphaned cubhood by a pair of white Afri-
can game wardens. Elsa, as a full-grown lioness, was friendly,
gentle, trustworthy, and fully co-operative with human beings.
She was playful, but careful to recognize her own strength and
weight. If you read those books, you'll learn how warmly affec-
tionate and genuinely friendly an African lioness can be.
So the next time you're walking across the African veldt, and
see a full-grown lioness come bounding toward you— what will
Unless you're insane, you'll raise your rifle and do your best to
drop the three hundred pound beast before she reaches you.
Of course, if it happened to be Elsa, happily bounding toward
you in friendly greeting, that would be a cruel injustice.
It would be a case of an individual suffering gross injustice be-
cause of the reputation— well earned!— of the statistical group,
Adult Lionesses, of which she was a member.
In other words, the necessity of real-world statistics will force
any sane individual to react to the most probable situation— and
the most probable situation is that a powerful carnivore is attack-
ing with motivation of converting you to manburgers.
40 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Statistically speaking, the Negroes lack self-discipline. Sup-
pressing the publication of crime statistics does not change those
statistics. The fact that some individuals are brilliant, highly ethi-
cal, thoroughly self-disciplined gentlemen in the finest sense of
the word— does not negate the validity of the Elsa Mechanism.
Those individuals will suffer gross injustice— because of the repu-
tation their group has earned.
That injustice to individuals will, moreover, continue indefi-
nitely, no matter what laws may be passed. Prohibition had a
better chance of stopping the consumption of alcohol than a law
has of stopping the statistically based reactions of human indi-
When lack of self-discipline— revolt against any and all disci-
pline—explodes into a vandal group sacking a major city, the loss
of Face involved can not be repaired by passing a new law saying
we shouldn't notice it.
If the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People wants to truly advance the Negroes— they might learn
from an older, wiser people, and study the Chinese methods. Or
the younger and more ebullient Irish, who solved the same prob-
lem, in the same basic way.
The Negro must discipline the Negro. So long as the Negro
leaves the problems of discipline up to the Whites, the Negro
will not be self-disciplined, and will feel that he is a victim of
Other People Discipline, and Other People Frustration. He'll feel
that, because he truly will be— forever and ever, world without
end, until he himself takes over the job.
The Chinese and the Irish were right; what any member of a
group does, does reflect on every other member, whether that
other member likes it or not.
If a White group imposes discipline, the disciplined individual
will inevitably have a strong tendency to feel that the aliens are
imposing cruel torture. If a Negro society imposes discipline, it
will come far closer to being accepted as punishment and guid-
The deep and simple basic of the problem is—the Whites can
not solve this problem, no matter what they do. Because anything
they do is necessarily wrong.
BREAKTHROUGH IN PSYCHOLOGY! 41
Only the Negro himself can solve it— because it must be solved
by seZ/-discipline, and seZ/-respect, and self-help.
The ones who suffer the greatest injustice now are those fine
individual Negro men and women who, because of that Elsa
Mechanism, are denied the acceptance their individual person-
alities merit. It's tough— but it is just as inevitable and inescap-
able as any other law of statistics. The individual Negro who can't
stand the slovenly, violent, thieving ways of his Negro neighbors
naturally wants to move to a better disciplined neighborhood.
But . . . the individuals in the better-disciplined neighborhood
are inescapably going to react to the Elsa Mechanism, and
identify him with the Negro neighbors that he himself wants to
In seeking to move away from their neighborhood, he is try-
ing to do what he so condemns— relegating his undesirable neigh-
bors to a ghetto, geographically removed from himself.
Man-made legislation, seeking to contravene a law of Nature,
can at the veiy best be futile. The Elsa Mechanism is based on
the laws of statistics. Trying to change it by passing laws is about
equivalent to decreeing that, henceforth, the value of it shall be
3.0000. . . .
Maybe somewhere . . . but not in this Universe!
THE DESTINY OF MAN
ARITHMETIC AND EMPIRE
It was van Vogt's story "Storm" that started me thinking on the
problem; this item would have appeared last month had it not
been that the announcement of this new size became necessary.
The problem is simple in statement— the governmental set-up for
maintaining peace and order in a galactic empire.
At present, all theories of how planets are formed are lying in
ruins. ( It's interesting that, even before the discovery of the extra-
solar planets, the various stellar-collision theories had been math-
ematically proven wrong; 61 Cygni C simply confirmed the fact. )
We haven't any idea how planets come about, but every star
which we have been able to observe minutely enough to make
the detection of a planet possible has shown planets. I think it's
fair to set up an hypothesis on the basis that all stars have planets;
many stars have habitable worlds. Four hundred million planets
capable of supporting human life, within this galaxy, is not
stretching possibilities anywhere near the limits.
Then, given a fast interstellar drive, and, say five thousand
years of time, what sort of human population might the galaxy
develop? When it comes to population increase, rabbits and
guinea pigs have a reputation as experts; the reputation is some-
what undeserved— they simply have short generations. Man can
do a very fine job of increasing the population when conditions
warrant it, and there's some time allowed.
This planet, under present conditions, has a population of
about two billions. With improved methods of producing food—
you've perhaps noticed that item about making a meat-flavored,
meatlike food from yeast, ammonia and sugar?— it could support
some fifty billions without discomfort. Since a planet habitable
for human kind will, of necessity, be Eardilike, an average popu-
lation per planet of one billion would be conservative.
That gives the tidy total of four hundred million billion people.
Like the number of light-waves in a mile, the number doesn't
46 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
have much emotional meaning— it remains a "4," which we can
understand, followed by a string of zeros which quickly cease to
mean anything real or understandable.
But this part of it does become understandable. Such an empire
would have to have a home-rule governmental system, with local
area governments in each city, up through continent govern-
ments, world governments, and system governments. Van Vogt
suggested in "Storm" that some central government would be
essential to keep individual planets, systems, sectors, and quad-
rants from warring amongst themselves. It seems reasonable.
Let's see what sort of affair that would be.
I don't believe that the United States Federal government could
be operated effectively by one hundred thirty men— including
the whole set-up from President down through and including the
Army, Navy and Post Office clerks. One civil servant per million
people is impossibly small, percentagewise, to be effective. That's
a figure that must be expanded.
But our galactic empire government must, then, have more
than that microscopic percentage of one-in-a-million, must have
more than an impossibly scant four hundred billion Federal em-
Perhaps, if Earth were made one solidly built-up capital city-
world, supported by the microscopic taxes collected from the in-
dividuals of the empire, by the goods shipped in from other,
producing worlds, this one planet could serve as the empire's
governing world. Otherwise, it would take some two hundred
planets to support the government's functionaries.
Incidentally, a congress made up of representatives each of
whom represented a billion individuals would be a more popu-
lous affair than the North American continent now is— twice over!
To have a representative body of manageable size, each legislator
would have to represent some million billion people.
The one-in-a-milhon figure of governmental employees is cer-
tainly too small; there will be some compromise figure between
our present-day over-high percentage of government workers-
after all, the problem of governing populations of more than one
hundred million people democratically is less than fifty years old
—and that too-small figure.
ARITHMETIC AND EMPIRE 47
The availability of really fast communications will aid a lot too.
As long as human nature remains roughly comparable to what it
is today, a face-to-face, person-to-person conference will continue
to be more solidly, definitely effective— and it takes time to go
from point to point. Since most governmental conferring is within
the capitol, fast communications— say van Vogt's trick walls-
would help fewer people to accomplish more. But all this deals
only with the central government. How many people would be
engaged in all governmental work in an empire of 400,000,000,-
000,000,000 people, including town, city, county, district, conti-
nent, world, stellar-system, sector, quadrant and galactic govern-
Galactic empire has been glibly considered fairly frequently in
science-fiction. But— has anyone any workable suggestions for a
NOTE FOR CHEMISTS
The American Chemical Society is holding its Seventy-fifth Anni-
versary Meeting in New York this September, beginning Labor
Day. Those seventy-five years in review are more than mildly
impressive; the 1876 model chemical science was basically some-
thing that Priestly and Lavoisier could have understood readily.
But a modern technical session, with discussion of angstrom unit
spacings between atoms, the molecular resonances, and the in-
tricacies of enzyme and catalytic action would be a totally foreign
Foreign as the modern material would be to those old fathers
of the science, the discussions planned on the impact of science-
chemistry in particular— on civilization would be just as foreign to
the chemists of seventy-five years ago.
In 1876, the primary effort of chemistry was to eoCtract from
Nature the desired materials. The background assumption of
chemistry at that time— a basic philosophy so deeply assumed
that it was not expressed, did not need to be stated— was the prop-
osition that chemistry's business was to find in Nature, and ex-
tract in purified form, the materials needed, the ready-made
molecules that industry required. Rubber from trees, metals from
ores, drugs from plants.
The emphasis has changed vastly in that three-quarters of a
century— less than one lifetime. The natural products, today, are
extracted, and studied— usually, however, on a microchemical
basis. A one-tenth milligram sample is adequate for many re-
searches. Once the natural substance has been isolated and stud-
ied, the effort, instead of concentrating on improved methods of
extraction, is directed toward synthesis, and towards synthesis of a
more desirable similar material. Nature has a certain slight edge
on chemical industry in producing useful materials— living things
have had some 2,000,000,000 years to experiment. But it still
seems highly improbable that the material 2,000,000,000 years of
NOTE FOR CHEMISTS 49
living-experimenting on the part of the hevea tree and its ances-
tral forms developed for wound-healing is necessarily the best
of all possible materials for automobile tires.
The sheep developed, through hundreds of millions of years,
a fibrous material, wool, as an effective clothing material. But it
seems somewhat improbable that it can be the best possible ma-
terial for Man's needs. For one thing, the sheep has a perfect
solution to the problem of wool shrinkage; just don't wash it, and
keep it well oiled with lanolin to protect it against rain. That
works just fine— and of course a sheep doesn't mind smelling like
a wet sheep.
So much of modern chemistry's effort has been directed at tak-
ing atoms rather than molecules from natural sources, or taking
molecular fragments from natural sources, and recombining them
to totally new synthetics designed specifically for Man's uses. No
animal or plant form ever attempted to handle the problem of
containing one hundred per cent H2SO4; it is reasonable to sup-
pose, therefore, that a synthetic, rather than a natural product
would be needed for the job.
No living metabolism here on Earth is able to handle the ex-
ceedingly stable carbon-fluorine bond in any but the most tenta-
tive fashion; organic compounds containing fluorine are, as a con-
sequence, practically unknown. But chemical industry, with the
high-energy processes available to technical machinery, can han-
dle even such powerful bonds— and produce materials like teflon
which are totally immune to corrosion.
The past seventy-five years has been a period of change from
the business of extraction-from-Nature to the business of synthe-
sizing totally new chemical systems— compounds like polystyrene
plastic do not exist in Nature, yet polystyrene has become one of
the cheapest, most widely used, and most satisfactory product-
materials. Everything from delicate electronic parts— polystyrene
is one of the world's best insulating materials— to cookie jars-
polystyrene is cheap, easily molded, attractive in appearance,
relatively rugged, and easily cleaned— are being made from it.
But the next three-quarters of a century . . . ? What will be
the direction of development?
My private guesstimate:
50 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
The beginnings of the new developments are, I think, now in
sight. Polystyrene-like materials, required in ton-lots, basically
simple, repetitive molecule structures, are ideal for machine pro-
duction, for purely mechanical synthesis. But the swing away
from Nature can go too far— and I suspect it has.
Ecology is the study of the economy of living things; the in-
terrelationships and interdependencies of life forms. All living
things constitute a planetary organism, in a sense. Man sprang
from the living forms of Earth; he is still a part of the system. In
the development of organisms, living cells learned to specialize,
to take on special functions, producing substances not intended
for their own use, but for the use of the rest of the organism— the
adrenal gland, the Islets of Langerhans, the bone marrow that
produces cells that live only to produce needed corpses, the red
Penicillin is produced by a certain type of mold— but penicillin
today is produced by a specially mutated strain that is being
fitted into the ecology of Man; the mold is a successful mutation
because, in the presence of Man's industry, that is a survival
characteristic. The modern cow is a similar evolutionary freak;
the dairy cow's characteristics are survival characteristics only
in the presence of Man. The modern strains of beef cattle, like
red blood cells, live only to produce useful corpses. The modern
strains of apple trees are similar examples; their gigantic seed
pods produce seeds that are never planted, and never grow; the
type is propagated by grafting.
.- The overall evolutionary mechanism is that Man is creating a
l Cr ° i V^netary organism in which animal forms and plant forms co-
iKfi/if operate in mutual survival, instead of individual survival. The
f liver cells of an animal are incapable of surviving alone, as their
remote, ancestral forms did. Man is in process of creating a world-
organism of life forms that are similarly incapable of independent
And the chemist is playing a major role in that slow organiza-
tion; DDT, 2-4-D, many of the sprays and medications that have
been synthesized and extracted are playing a role in building
The next step, however, is for the chemist, in his role of bio-
NOTE FOR CHEMISTS 51
chemist, to start consciously evolving strains of living things to
produce the complex compounds he wants. It is easier to produce
complex organic molecules that are not simple repetitive patterns,
like the synthetic polymers, by biological processes. It is also a
fairly simple problem— in its basic theory— to develop, by forced
evolution, a biological mechanism that produces the desired sub-
In the past seventy-five years, we have learned techniques for
producing what we want synthetically; it seems to me that the
next step is to produce the living organism that produces what
That's a legitimate activity for a life form, too!
SPACE FOR INDUSTRY
It has been more or less assumed that when Man gets going well
enough in spaceflight technology, the planets will be opened for
development— that the future pioneers, future investment oppor-
tunities, will be in the development of Mars, Venus, the Moon,
and, later, planets of other stars.
Maybe, eventually, those developments will come. But ... it
looks to me, now, as though we've neglected a major bet.
I think the first major development of industry based on space
technology will not be on another planet— but in space itself. I
believe that the first major use of space technology will be the
development of a huge heavy-industry complex floating perma-
nently in space, somewhere between Mars and the asteroid belt.
In the first place, we're never going to get any engineering use
of space until we get something enormously better than rockets.
(And every indication now is that we already have something
that means rockets never will be used for any major space work.
Tests so far made confirm that the gadget described in the
December editorial does in fact break Newton's laws of motion; it
provides thrust without counterthrust. )
We can, therefore, drop rockets from consideration; they're
inherently hopeless as an industrial tool. They're enormously less
efficient as transportation than is a helicopter— and nobody ex-
pects to use helicopters as the backbone of a major industrial
So any engineering development of space implies a non-rocket
space-drive. Something that can lift and haul tons with the practi-
cal economic efficiency of a heavy truck, at least. Even nuclear
rockets couldn't do that; the reaction-mass problem requires that
even a nuclear rocket start with a gargantuan load of mass solely
intended to be discarded en route.
So: assume some form of true space-drive. A modified sky-
hook or an antigravity gadget— anything. It's a space-truck— not a
SPACE FOR INDUSTRY 53
delicate and hyper-expensive rocket. It can carry tons, and work
Now; do we develop Mars and/or Venus?
Why should we?
The thing human beings use and need most are metals, en-
ergy, and food. It's a dead-certain bet that no Terrestrial food
plant will grow economically on either Mars or Venus . . . except
in closed-environment systems. Metals on those planets might be
available in quantities; let's assume that Mars is red because it's
a solid chunk of native iron that's rusted on the surface to a depth
of six inches.
Who wants it? Why haul iron out of Mars' gravity field . . .
when it's floating free in the asteroid belts? If we're going to have
to grow our food in a closed-environment system any time we
get off Earth . . . why not do it where null-gravity makes build-
ing the closed environment cheap, quick, and easy?
And while Terran life forms may not do well on those planets
. . . the local life forms might do very well indeed living on us.
Why bother fighting them off? In a space-city, there would be
only those things which we selected for inclusion.
Heavy industry has always developed where three things were
available; cheap raw materials, easy access to markets, and
cheap energy supplies. In pre-industrial times, that cheap
energy supply naturally meant cheap fuel for muscles, whether
animal or human. Somewhat later, it meant water-power, and
now it means fuels.
The current direction of research efforts is to achieve a con-
trolled hydrogen fusion reaction, so that the energy needs of
growing industry can be met.
In space, that problem is already solved. The Sun's been doing
it for billions of years— and the only reason we can't use it here
on Earth is that the cost of the structure needed to concentrate
sunlight is too great.
So let's set up Asteroid Steel Company's No. 7 plant. It's in
orbit around the Sun about one hundred million miles outside of
Mars' orbit. Conveniently close— within one hundred or two hun-
dred miles— are floating in the same orbit a dozen energy col-
54 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
lectors. They don't last long— a few months or so— but they're
cheap and easy to make. A few hundred pounds of synthetics
are mixed, and while they're copolymerizing, the sticky mass is
inflated with a few gallons of water vapor. In an hour, the process
is complete, and a horny-looking film of plastic has been formed
into a bubble half a mile in diameter. A man goes in through the
bubble wall after it's set, places a thermite bomb in the middle,
and retires. A few seconds later, the bubble has been converted
to a spherical mirror. A little more manipulation, and at a cost of
perhaps one thousand dollars total, two half-mile diameter mir-
rors have been constructed, located, and faced toward the Sun.
A little equipment has to be laced onto them to keep them from
being blown out into outer space by the pressure of the solar rays
they're reflecting, and to keep them pointed most advanta-
The beam— poorly focused though it is— of one of these solar
mirrors can slice up an asteroid in one pass. Shove the asteroid
in toward the beam, stand back, and catch it on the other side.
So it's half a mile thick, itself? So what? A few passes, and the
nickel-steel directly under that mirror-beam boils off into space.
Power's cheap; we've got a no-cost hydrogen-fusion reactor giv-
ing all the energy we can possibly use— and collectors that cost
The steel— it's high-grade nickel-steel; other metals available
by simply distilling in vacuum, of course!— once cut to manage-
able sizes can be rolled, forged, formed, et cetera, in the heavy
machinery of Plant No. 7. The plant was, of course, constructed
of the cheap local metal; only a nucleus of precision machine
tools had to be hauled up from Earth. And those are long since
worn out and discarded from Plant No. 1.
The plant itself has a few power mirrors to provide the elec-
trical energy needed. After all, with the free fusion-reactor hang-
ing right out there, nobody's going to go to the trouble and risk
of installing a nuclear power plant.
Plants for food, of course, need light— and they'll get just ex-
actly as much as they can best use. So the direct light's a little
weak out there? Aluminized plastic film costs almost nothing per
SPACE FOR INDUSTRY 55
And the third factor for heavy industrial development is, of
course, easy access to market? How easy can it get! It's a downhill
pull all the way to any place on Earth! Whatever the system of
space-drive developed, it's almost certain to allow some form of
"dynamic braking"— and it's usually easier to get rid of energy
than to get it. From the asteroids to the surface of the Earth
you're going down hill all the way— first down the slope of the
solar gravitational field, then down Earth's.
Spot delivery of steel by the megaton, anywhere whatever on
Earth's surface, at exactly the same low cost follows. There's easy
access to all markets from space!
Meanwhile Solar Chemicals Corporation will have their plants
scattered somewhat differently. Landing on Jupiter is, of course,
impossible for human beings— but it's fairly easy to fall into an
eccentric orbit that grazes the outer atmosphere of the planet.
That wouldn't cost anything in the way of power. Depending on
the type of space-drive— antigravity or some form of bootstraps
lifter— ships would take different approaches to the problem.
The problem, of course, is that Jupiter's atmosphere is one
stupendous mass of organic chemicals raw materials— methane,
ammonia, and hydrogen. And, probably, more water in the form
of dust in that air, than we now realize.
In any case, if Jupiter doesn't supply oxygen from water, the
stony asteroids do— as silicates. And Saturn's rings, it's been sug-
gested, are largely ice particles.
The solar mirrors are less efficient at Jupiter's distance, of course
—but Solar Chemicals doesn't need to melt down planetoids.
Their power demands are more modest.
With Jupiter's atmosphere to draw on, it seems unlikely that
Man will run short of hydrocarbon supplies in the next few mega-
years. And there's always Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in re-
serve . . .
We're only beginning to understand the potentialities of
plasmas and plasmoids— of magnetohydrodynamics and what
can be done with exceedingly hot gases in magnetic fields under
near-vacuum conditions. Space is the place to learn something
about those things— and one of the things we've already learned
56 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
from our rocket probes is that the immediate vicinity of magne-
tized planets is exceedingly dangerous.
Open space might prove to be somewhat healthier than we
now realize. And if there are some difficulties— generating our own,
homegrown magnetic fields isn't an impossibly difficult matter.
Particularly when we've got nickel-steel by the megaton to work
with! And it is not, remember, necessary to build our space plants
—it might prove wiser to carve them, instead.
The meteorites that reach Earth are, of course, almost entirely
composed of common silicates and nickel-iron. However, the
Earth is also, to the best of current belief, composed almost en-
tirely of those materials. Nevertheless there's quite a tonnage of
copper, silver, lead, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, molybdenum
and other metals around here. And, presumably, in the asteroids.
Silicate meteors being common, we can expect effectively un-
limited quantities of raw material for glassy materials in space.
On Earth, vacuum distillation is scarcely a practicable method of
separating the components of a rocky ore; in space, however,
vacuum distillation is far more economical than processing in
various water solutions. On Earth, high-energy processes are ex-
pensive; solution processes relatively cheap. In space, with the
energy of a star to play with, solution processes will be used
rarely— and whole new concepts of high-energy-level chemistry
will be invented. Jupiter's atmosphere will supply plenty of low-
cost carbon for constructing graphite processing equipment.
We can, effectively, make our own solar flares— our own sun-
spot vortices— by injecting gas into the focused beam of a half-
mile mirror, traveling not across, but along the beam. The
light-pressure effects, alone, should yield a jet of gas at high
velocity equivalent to several tens of thousands of degrees.
There's every inducement for heavy-industry development in
And against that— what have the planets to offer?
Earth, of course, is a unique situation; we evolved to fit this en-
vironment. The planets do have open skies, instead of walls, and
natural gravity, rather than a constant whirling. They are, and
Earth in particular will remain, where men want to live.
SPACE FOR INDUSTRY 57
Sure . . . and men today want to live on a country estate, with
acres of rolling hills and running streams and forest land, with
horses and dogs around.
That urge is so strong that, at least around the New York Metro-
politan area, anywhere within seventy-five miles of the city, they
can sell a structure that an Iowa farmer would consider a pretty
cramped hencoop for forty-five hundred dollars, as a "summer
home/' All it needs is a pond renamed Lake Gitchiegoomie within
a mile or so.
Man, you ought to see the beautiful, uncluttered landscapes in
Western Ireland! Lakes that aren't ponds, and not even one house
on them. They don't have to have water-police to handle the
traffic jam of boats on a one by three mile "lake" there.
Only . . . who can afford commuting from New York to Ire-
Well, there's one sure thing about the space-cities. They won't
have the smog problem.
THE WONDER OF SCIENCE
NO COPYING ALLOWED
The proposition involving the science-fiction hero who captures
the enemy device, brings it home, copies it and puts it into
production is being abandoned in modern stories. But the actual
difficulty of such a problem is always interesting and worthy of
consideration. Only recently has Earth's own technology reached
the point where such copying is not possible; today it is definitely
impossible in a large field of devices.
Let's first consider this situation: Time: About 1920. Place: An
American Army Air Base. Action: High overhead a small air-
plane tears across the sky with a high, thin whistle. Ground ob-
servers, after tracking it for a minute or so— during which time
it has passed out of sight— report incredulously that it was doing
between nine hundred fifty and one thousand miles per hour.
It circles back, slows abruptly as the whistle dies out, and makes
a hot, deadstick landing. Investigators reach the cornfield where
it landed, and find it ninety percent intact— and one hundred
percent impossible. Swept-back wings, no tail, automatic control
equipment of incredibly advanced design, are all understandable
in so far as function intended goes. But the metal alloys used
make no sense to the metallurgists when they go to work on them.
The "engine," moreover, is simply, starkly insane. The only indi-
cation of anything that might remotely be considered an engine
is a single, open tube— really open; open at both ends. But the
empty fuel tank had tubes leading into some sort of small jets in
that pipe. The athodyd being unheard of in 1920, the thing is
senseless. Filling the fuel tanks simply causes a hot fire that must
be extinguished quickly to prevent burning out the tube. The fact
that this is a guided missile intended for launching from a four-
hundred-mile-an-hour bomber makes the situation a little difficult
for the 1920 technologists; the athodyd won't start functioning
below two hundred fifty m.p.h., and nothing on Earth could reach
that speed in 1920.
62 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Meanwhile, the Signal Corps experts are going equally chittery
trying to figure out the controls. First off, the plane's markings
were clearly an advanced United States Army design. Many
equipment parts bore United States Army Signal Corps markings
and serial numbers. But the equipment inside is not only of ad-
vanced design, it's of meaningless design. The idea of printed
circuits is fascinating, but understandable if not reproducible.
Pentode amplifiers the size of a peanut are fascinating, not repro-
ducible, and only vaguely understandable. For one thing, the fila-
ment isn't used at all; an indirectly heated cathode is a new item
to them. However, the items that really stop them are several
varieties of gadgets, all about the same size, but of violently dif-
ferent characteristics. There are units one eighth inch in diameter
by about three fourths long which have resistance varying from
one hundred to ten million ohms. Incredible, but true. Others
have infinite resistance, and are condensers of capacity so high
for their tiny size as to be unbelievable. Still others have three
leads, and, opened, seem to be crystal detectors— understandable
—but are amplifiers, which doesn't make sense. They also turn
out to be nonreproducible. They are simple mechanical structures,
using the very unusual element germanium, in the crystals. But
the chemical expert's best purified germanium won't work when
a reproduction is tried. (You've got to have the right amount of
the right impurity introduced in the right way. Techniques in the
'20s weren't up to it. )
Furthermore, there's a tube that's obviously a triode oscillator,
but the frequency involved is so high as to be detectable only
when using crystal detectors from the plane's own equipment.
The circuit, too, doesn't make sense to the radio engineers, though
the physicists from the Bureau of Standards finally figured it out.
( It's a tuned-line oscillator operating at about four hundred mega-
cycles. The physicists had to go back to Hertz's original work
with tuned-rod oscillators to get a glimpse of what went on.)
They can't reproduce the tube, and no tube they can make will
oscillate in the circuit used.
Finally, there's another group of equipments they've simply
agreed to forget. It seems to center around a permanent magnet
of fantastic power which embraces a copper block drilled with
NO COPYING ALLOWED 63
holes of odd sizes, having a central electron-emitting rod through
it. The magnetron is bad enough— obviously beyond reproduction,
since the cathode can't be duplicated, the magnet can't be du-
plicated, and the metal-to-glass seals are beyond any available
technique. But the associated equipment is worse. There is a col-
lection of rectangular pipes made of heavy silver-plated copper.
The pipes contain nothing, carry nothing, and appear totally
meaningless. This time the physicists are completely stumped.
(Wave-guide theory is a recent development; without some
basic leads, and understanding of the order of frequencies in-
volved, they'd never get there.) And worst of all, the physicists
find that several bits of the equipment contain radioactive ma-
terial. They know about radium, uranium, thorium, et cetera.
But— this is highly radioactive, and it's cobalt. But cobalt isn't
radioactive! But this is, and it is cobalt. (It's the transmit-receive
tube; the radio-cobalt is used to keep it ready to ionize easily
and instantly. ) They also find radioactive emanations from much
of the plane's material, with faint indications that half the ele-
ments in the chemical table are radioactive— which is arrant non-
sense! (The guided missile had been flown through the fringes of
an atomic bomb test gathering report data.)
In summary, the aerodynamicists report that the tailless mon-
strosity is interesting, but the principles of its design are confus-
ing. The engine group report the "engine," so-called, can't be the
engine. It was thought for a while that it might be a rocket, but
since both ends are, and always were, wide open, it can't pos-
sibly be a rocket. The radio experts of the Signal Corps agree that
some of the equipment is an immeasurably advanced type of
radio apparatus, but the design is so advanced that it is futile
to study it. It can't be reproduced, and involves principles evi-
dently several centuries ahead of the knowledge of 1920— so ad-
vanced that the missing, intermediate steps are too many to be
bridged. The mystery electronic equipment, called Equipment
Group X, remains simply mysterious, save that, in some way, it
involves a receiver operating on an unknown, but very high fre-
quency. (By which they meant not the ten thousand megacycle
input but the "low" frequency intermediate frequency amplifier,
operating at only thirty megacycles. Having no means of generat-
64 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
ing thirty megacycles at that time, they could only say it was
higher than the highest available. And they didn't, of course,
recognize the ten kilomegacycle RF head as a receiver at all.)
The physicists would be inclined to ascribe it to Mars, Venus
or any other non-terrestrial planet, if it weren't for the obvious
Signal Corps markings. Since terrestrial cobalt isn't radioactive,
and the cobalt in this ship is—
But anyway, the reports can only be tucked in the "File And
Forget" division. About the only thing they can lift out of that
piece of marvelous equipment is the secret of making good, small,
high-resistance electronic resistors. The chemists and physicists
did crack that one, and it's the answer to an electronicist's prayers;
the tiny resistors are not wound with sub-microscopic resistance
wire, as was at first believed— they're little ceramic tubes
filled with a composition of clay and graphite which is such an
extremely bad conductor that it does the job beautifully. By vary-
ing the composition, resistors of a standard size can range from
one ohm to one hundred million.
At that, our 1920 group was really lucky. Suppose the item that
fell through a time-fault had carried an atomic warhead. If it
didn't go off, it would have presented the physicists with two of
the most dangerous, utterly inexplicable lumps of matter imagin-
able. Pure U-235 or pure plutonium— that would have driven the
chemists mad!— before they'd even discovered synthetic radioac-
tivity. They would have been certain to kill themselves by bring-
ing those two masses too close to each other, though, out of the
bomb mechanism, they wouldn't have exploded.
But— write your own ticket, in your own special field. Let 1920,
or 1910, or 1890 try to understand the functioning of any one
of your modern gadgets. Even though, in those years, first-rate
scientists with a full understanding of scientific methodology, and
with fairly complete laboratory equipments, were available!
OUR CATALOGUE NUMBER . .
There's a great tendency on the part of a human being to say
"It always seemed to me . . ." or "I never did believe that . . ."
or the like. It's self-evidently true that the above statements can-
not be true of any individual, in any instance whatsoever— not in
the sense implied by the individual. Since no individual has
existed forever, "always" is inherently inapplicable. Since no in-
dividual carried on active philosophical evaluational processes
at birth, or immediately thereafter, "always" in the sense of "as
long as I have existed" is never applicable.
But we're so ready to pretend that we haven't changed! The
basic implication of such statements is simply "I am as I have
been and as I will be . . . and furthermore, I'm right, have
been, and will be."
As a long-time science-fictioneer, I run into that characteristic
in its acute— and acutely irritating— phase. The fellow who "knows"
that science fiction is nonsense— the one who, in 1941, "knew"
rockets larger than Fourth of July fireworks were nonsense, but
who, after reading that V-2S were landing one-ton lots of high
explosive in London, instantaneously changed polarity, and "al-
ways knew" rockets could do that sort of thing. But who, as of
1944, "knew" atomic energy was nonsense— and as of August 8th,
say, 1945, "always knew" we could do it.
The "interval of wonder" is astonishingly small in most people.
Of course, eliminating it does make one feel smug, well satisfied
with one's deep and cogent understanding of all things. But it
seems to me you miss a lot of the fun of sensing the change around
you! You know, no matter how fast you're going, you have no
sense of motion; it's only the acceleration that you can detect.
There's no kick to steady motion— the lift and thrill comes in de-
tecting the great driving thrust that produces the change of speed.
A world of no change is boring beyond endurance— yet it seems
to me that a lot of people are missing the immense and joyous
66 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
stimulus of living in a period when the world is changing, ac-
celerating, faster than it ever did before— by a sort of mental
black-out. They blank out the acceleration period, like a rocket
pilot who passes out during the 8g thrust of the take-off, regain-
ing awareness only after the change of speed has been made.
We re only half aware of the immense thrust of civilization to-
ward a higher speed of accomplishment. The change of level is
something even the science-fictionally alerted individual can read-
ily miss— because the acceleration is on so broad a scale. The
non-science-fictioneer is apt to skip that interval of wonder com-
pletely—and it's not too easy for the science-fictioneer to find all
of the intervals of wonder, the moments of mental acceleration
when we recognize that a vague hope, a half-dream, has become
Dr. John Pomeroy, who's done a number of articles for the
magazine, is an Argonne National Laboratory researcher— and far
from sending me tidbits of classified information, has simply kept
me aware of the standard catalogues and brochures of the in-
dustrial companies that offer various industrial components to
interested markets. That supply of catalogues and standard com-
mercial offerings I find far more exciting and intriguing. Talking
about going to the Moon, or to Mars is interesting— but what
counts is the day someone publishes their annual catalogue of-
fering " our catalogue number . . .' for the four-man scout, satis-
factory for Lunar exploratory work, or asteroid prospectors; not
recommended for gravitational fields exceeding fifty kilonewtons."
The booklets Dr. Pomeroy has sent along, during the last few
years, are the "our catalogue number . . ." offerings that have
reduced the science-fiction of 1940-45 to specific commercial
The Collins Radio Company offers, in their catalogue listings,
radio receivers and transmitters intended for amateur and com-
mercial installations— and also a cyclotron, standard commercial
model, a packaged item ready for delivery and installation on
Just about twenty years ago, the cyclotron was the newest and
furthest frontier of extremely advanced laboratory research.
General Electric, I understand, has an eighty megavolt betatron
"our catalogue number . . ." 67
they are about ready to offer as a packaged unit for industrial ap-
plication. Their smaller, twenty-five megavolt model is recom-
mended for X-ray quality control inspection on heavy castings
I got into theoretical physics back in 1928, because science
fiction had convinced me that that was the field wherein the
great advances would be made in my lifetime— atomic energy and
the like. In 1932, the neutron was discovered, the cyclotron work
began, and the real surge to crack the nucleus got under way.
The mass spectrograph was, at that time, a rare and wonderful
device, possessed by a few of the most advanced university lab-
oratories. Mass spectrographs are now offered on an "our catalogue
number . . ." basis by a number of firms. Recording electro-
spectrophotometers are offered for industrial labs, "in gray crackle
or other finish. File space for storing recordings or other data
built into the cabinet. A handsome piece of equipment in any
Yes— the fact that it does automatically, and in a matter of
seconds, something advanced university laboratories couldn't ac-
complish in weeks a few decades ago is not enough; by rights
the technician properly holds that it should also be good looking,
convenient, and make efficient use of space. Mass spectrographs,
on the other hand, are advertised as useful devices for detecting
leaks, and for production-line quality control inspection.
Robots are offered by several scores of companies; they aren't
tin men, since no one wants a tin man for any valid industrial
use, so they're called "automatic process control equipment" or
the like— or "digital computer systems." But the computing ma-
chine that was, not more than a few years ago, a thing of rare
wonder is now a standard catalogue item from dozens of com-
panies. A recent issue of Scientific American carried a series of
articles on cybernetics— but the advertisements that went with
the articles were even more revealing. A popular, newsstand sale
magazine carrying advertisements for standard trade devices that
would be described only in science-fiction magazines as little as
fifteen years ago!
The last batch of commercial catalogues I got from Dr. Pom-
eroy contains one that is still at least a little bit on the interval-of-
68 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
wonder boundary. It's from Radiation Counter Laboratories,
Inc., of Nucleonic Park, Skokie, Illinois— their "RCL Illustrated
Price List No. 12." One of the first items offered, I see, is "A Hand-
book On Small Research Nuclear Reactors for Universities & In-
dustry," $6.00 a copy ( 10% discount on 5 copies or more ) .
Then there's the "Oak Ridge Compensated Ionization Cham-
ber, RCL Mark 17 Model 2," a neutron-sensitive instrument
used in pile controls. Outside dimensions 3 feet long, by 3%
inches diameter. $1,345.
They do not as yet, apparently, have a complete small nuclear
reactor installation, with all control equipment and installation
costs, offered as a packaged installation as a catalogue item. That
may be a year or two more— but not much longer, I imagine.
I can't yet get quotations on that four-man scout ship— but I
can, if I want, get quotations on eighty megavolt X-ray equip-
ment, or small atomic power plants.
Of course, we always knew that would happen, didn't we?
The philosophy of the true scientist is one of the few things he
does not, ordinarily, express clearly; this is, in part, because he,
of all men, considers human opinions of little import in the scheme
of things, and a philosophy appears to be simply a system of hu-
man opinions. He's wrong in that to some degree; a philosophy
is a theory of the relationships of the Universe, actually— and it
is important to state theories clearly, communicate them, and
cross-check them with the observations of others.
But because his personal philosophy is so personal, he seldom
defines it clearly for others to investigate and consider. Perhaps
it would be worth while seeking to find a definition— a clear state-
ment—of the scientist's philosophy. Many of the fine scientists I
know and have known appear to me to act on a system of be-
liefs somewhat like this:
They believe in the existence of a Supreme Authority in
the Universe, an Authority they call "Natural Law." They hold
that that Authority is above and beyond the opinions and beliefs,
the will or willfulness, of any human being. That that Authority
can, moreover, be directly consulted by any man, at any time—
and that every man is, at every time and in every place, directly
and specifically obedient to that Authority, to Natural Law,
whether he recognizes that fact or not.
They believe that the highest task of Man is to seek to under-
stand more fully the nature of the Laws of the Universe.
That the highest good of Man is achieved by understanding
and working with those Laws, and not by seeking to defy them.
That the system of laws is absolutely inescapable, but that any
individual law can be offset by proper use of others of the total
system of laws. That Natural Law is like an equation having
many terms; the total equation must always be in balance, but
that any one factor on one side may be altered at will by ac-
JO COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
cepting appropriate alteration of factors on the other side of the
That Man thus has free choice with respect to any situation—
but he cannot rationally speak of having free choice as to whether
he will or will not obey the total system of the Laws of the Uni-
The scientist believes that he has made a mistake any time
his actions lead to results he did not predict— and that it is sub-
limely futile to say that the Universe is wrong, or unjust, or ir-
Since only total knowledge of everything in the total Universe
could make possible accurate prediction of all the results of any
action, the scientist is necessarily an humble man; he knows he
must make mistakes.
But the scientist is also a proud man; he is proud of his will-
ingness to learn, to give up his dearest conviction in the face of
a new learning.
The scientist seeks to state his beliefs in the clearest, most un-
equivocal form he can achieve; thus he can more quickly detect
and correct errors in his ideas as to what he thinks the Laws are,
and what those Laws actually are.
The scientist seeks to communicate his ideas to other men of
high ability and knowledge equal to his own; if he cannot com-
municate his idea to them, he knows he has not adequately clari-
fied his statements, or has made some error in his development of
his idea. He has made a mistake; it is futile to hold the other man
at fault. This he learns early, for it is a simple extension of the
concept of the futility of blaming the Universe when his experi-
ment goes in a direction other than he predicted. Other people
are, clearly, part of any individual scientist's external Universe.
The scientist likes to work with machines. A machine is a
structure which has no beliefs, no biases, no willingness to be
friendly nor any desire to be inimical, for it has no desires. It's
utterly honest, granting no favors and refusing no earned reward.
A man can fool himself; he can even fool his friends and, some-
times, his enemies. A machine is honest to a fault.
A machine invariably does precisely what you have "told" it
to do; if your instructions— i.e., your design— are not clear, the ma-
THE SCIENTIST J\
chine does not function as predicted. If it doesn't, the fault is
yours— you gave the instructions. Designing and building any
type of machine is a powerful lesson in humility and, equally, in
self-respect. If it works, you know precisely why it does; if it
doesn't, you may not know why, but you must, inescapably,
acknowledge an error, for the machine will not function until
you do acknowledge that you have made an error, and both seek
and find that error.
The true scientist is an humble man in another respect; he
acknowledges that the Laws of the Universe apply in full to him-
self; that they limit him as well as otiiers, and will equally help
him as well as any other.
He is also a courageous man; he is willing to submit his tender
and beloved beliefs to the harsh test of practice and experiment,
well knowing that most of the time the experiment will prove
him wrong and force him to rebuild, laboriously, the structure of
belief he so recently completed.
To the nonscientist he seems very strange. The scientist looks
at the Ptolmaic theory of the Universe, and the modern concept
of the Cosmos, and says: "They are not very different; each yields
the same predicted observations to the first decimal point." His
understanding completely confuses the nonscientist, for the
scientist holds that facts are very deceptive, yet also holds that
all understanding must be based on fact. How can this be?
It's very confusing to the nonscientist to have an electrical en-
gineer and a mechanical engineer get together and say that an
automobile transmission gear shift is essentially the same thing
as a multi-tapped transformer.
The resultant attitude the scientist shows toward his theories—
the way he abandons one and shifts over to "an entirely dif-
ferent" one— makes him seem somehow intellectually dishonest,
untrustworthy and unreliable to the nonscientist who cannot see
the fundamental similarity of the theories. How can a man hon-
estly say that an automobile gear shift is the same thing as a
multi-tapped transformer? Only by recognizing that each is an
impedance matching device, that each is a modification and
application of the basic principle of the lever.
The scientist seeks the Basic Laws, and is not afraid to find
72 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
that they apply to him— for he knows that they always have ap-
plied to him, and always will, whether he acknowledges them or
not. The Law of Action and Reaction applied to Ug, the Cave-
man; it was Ug's ignorance of them that got him into trouble,
for the Law applied whether he knew or not, whether he so
willed or not. A Man-made law can seek to limit a humans
freedom; the nonscientist many times confuses Man-made law
and its effects with Man-discovered law and the results of that
discovery. It was not Newton's discovery of the Law of Gravity
that kept men from flying— it was the existence of the Law that
did that. But it was Newton's discovery of the Law, plus the
Wright's application of certain laws of aerodynamics, that finally
led to Man's flight.
When Ug, the Caveman, caught a small boulder thrown at him,
and staggered backward under the impact, he attributed the ef-
fect to the stone. This was a misattribution of effect; the effect
was assigned to the wrong cause. The stone, which he could see
and which had palpable existence, was obvious; the momentum
never existed apart from the stone, and was not obvious— until
Newton recognized it.
The scientist seeks to achieve a correct attribution of cause and
effect; in doing so he invents nothing, generates no new laws,
imposes no new limits on humanity. Knowing this, he is not averse
to accepting that he is, was, and always will be ruled by the Laws
of the Universe.
Characteristically, many human beings lack the willingness to
accept that they obey laws they do not know exist. In the field
of personality and human relations, for instance, there is a deep
rebellion against the idea that there are laws which apply. In that
area, then, there are very few true scientists in the sense of in-
dividuals willing to acknowledge freely that they are bound by
and controlled by Universal Laws they do not know exist.
But one of the most difficult tasks any physical scientist can try
is that of defining in what way his basic philosophy differs from
that of the sincere, self-searching moral philosopher, with his
deep belief in God as the Supreme Authority, and the Giver
of Universal Law. Perhaps it is, essentially, that the physical
scientist says, in effect, "I have proven beyond doubt that there
THE SCIENTIST 73
is Universal Law; I am not yet wise enough to know the nature
of its source," while the moral philosopher insists that he knows
It might help the integration of the physical, social and moral
philosophical sciences, however, if each group could state in
clearly communicable terms the essence of their beliefs. And
this in turn would, surely, help in the integration of our vastly
increasing physical competence with our laggard social engineer-
Human beings are so highly complex that, to date, no one of
them has ever succeeded in figuring out (a) what he is, (b)
what he wants, (c) where he's been, or (d) where he's going.
Inasmuch as this includes you, me, and the rest of our friends,
neighbors, and Wise Men, we need neither laugh nor shake our
heads— though the gyrations resulting from the confusion above
stated certainly range from the hilarious to the appalling.
Currently, the Russians are claiming that most of the major in-
ventions of the last couple of centuries were originally made by
inhabitants of that area of the world now known as the U.S.S.R.
The suggestion that these inventors, who accomplished so much,
lived and prospered under a Czarist society would not be wel-
come, in all probability. The fact that the inventors of the claimed
devices generally recognized in the rest of the world— Bell, for
example, as inventor of the telephone— lived in the capitalist
countries is unacceptable to the Soviets, apparently. The Russian
capitalist-era inventors are more acceptable, however, than non-
Russian capitalist-area inventors.
This is, perhaps, an original reaction, unique to Russian Com-
The history books available in this country's schools have a cer-
tain touch of precisely the same mechanism. Invention made by
the now-enemy must be denied; invention made by the no-longer-
dangerous enemy can be accepted safely.
The history books give Greece and Rome credit for starting
modern science— which happens to be an extremely serious error.
It's serious because it obscures an uniquely important fact: That
only two cultures in the recorded history of Man have developed
that combination of philosophical analysis and experimental
cross-checking known as Modern Science. Greece and Rome are
not among those two; neither culture achieved anything that
hadn't been achieved elsewhere, and achieved a lot earlier. Oh,
RELATIVELY ABSOLUTE 75
certainly there were details that only Rome, or only Greece
achieved; it's also true that only the Greeks invented Greek as a
language. The important thing is that other peoples had lan-
The Chinese and Egyptians achieved high-order engineering
several millennia before Rome did. Egypt's earliest engineering
works were older, when Julius Caesar built his bridge across the
Rhine, than Rome's monuments are today.
The Greeks did a lot with mathematics and geometry. The
Babylonians had done so long before; the Egyptian surveyors of
a few millennia before Rome was founded did considerable first-
rate math, too. The Chinese had Pythagoras' Theorem worked
The Incas, quite independently, achieved a military road sys-
tem that put Rome's to shame. The Mayas had a calendar far
superior to that the Greeks and Romans developed.
Observation was old. Mathematics was old. It had been done
before, and in many, many places, by many, many peoples.
Rome's engineering feats weren't unique.
What we know as Western Culture is a highly hybridized prod-
uct of much intermingling— and has the consequent hybrid vigor.
Now the curious thing about it is that there's a great tendency to
resist being hybridized, and consequently a great tendency to
deny that hybridization has taken place. The Western Culture is,
essentially, a hybrid resultant of Judeo-Christian philosophy,
based on the old Semitic fundamentals, plus Greco-Roman ad-
mixtures, plus one other highly important admixture. The Greco-
Roman-Semitic philosophy hybrid resultant had not done too
well by the year 1000 a.d. The Dark Ages were not to be con-
fused with Periclean Athens as an era of intellectual achievement.
They say human beings want security; they had achieved it in
Europe during that period. It was a magnificently static situa-
tion; nobody learned anything new, and nobody got upset by
having to face a new idea for several centuries.
"Modern History" usually is measured from the beginning of
the active phase of the Renaissance. What started the Renais-
76 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Our unwashed, louse-ridden, feudal, and essentially barbaric
ancestors had had their thick heads knocked together vigorously,
and been unceremoniously pitched out on their ears by the highly
civilized, powerfully progressive Islamic peoples. That hap-
pened not once, but four successive times. With the typical bar-
barian's assurance that they know all there is to know that's
important, the Europeans had tried marching into Palestine.
They were trounced with appalling thoroughness and ease.
They never established more than a minor beachhead against an
Empire that stretched from Spain to India. Their nuisance value
was minor, and if they could just be induced to behave in a semi-
civilized manner, they were welcome to make any pilgrimages
During World War II, when the Russians drove through into
Germany and the other Western European areas, their troops for
the first time came into intimate contact with how the Western
peoples live— what the actual Western standard of living is. It
certainly isn't perfect, and is a long sight lower than it should be
—but it infected the Russian troops with new and, for them, fabu-
lously high ideas of how to live.
I suspect the same sort of thing happened to the Crusaders
from Europe. Islam was civilized; Europe was not. Islam had
achieved what no other civilization Man had developed had been
able to; it invented Science.
Rome didn't, and Greece didn't; they had each produced one
of the two ingredients— as had many another people before them,
and other peoples also produced independently after them. Phi-
losophy is fine— but it won't stand alone. Athens fell flat on its
beautifully philosophical face— for lack of an even passable sew-
age and water system. Rome had magnificent sanitary engineer-
ing systems— and fell flat on the problem of philosophy.
Neither people ever cross-checked philosophy and engineering.
The Romans had no respect for the airy-fairy philosophy of the
Greeks; the Greeks never respected the harsh, materialistic Ro-
We did not get our legacy of Science from Rome or Greece;
we got it from Islam, the only people who invented it in all hu-
RELATIVELY ABSOLUTE JJ
We should laugh at Russia's curious maneuvers with inventors?
We, who, because Islam was, at the time, the great and dangerous
enemy, preferred to attribute their inventions to the long-
conquered enemy, Rome and Greece? The early Christians hated
Rome with a holy and burning hatred; read the New Testament's
all out vilification of Rome! But that battle against Roman cul-
ture was long since won; it was safe, in 1400 A.D., to say that
Romans and Greeks had been great and wise.
Islam was the enemy! They couldn't be wise or great!
So even a Czarist achievement is better than an American or
French achievement in the eyes of the U.S.S.R.
Yes, I think we've played that same old game before. It has a
familiar ring, even though the names are different. Some things
that happen for the first time— aren't. Propaganda is much older
than the word "propaganda." George Orwell's "Ministry of
Truth" is much older than "1984."
The business about Islam, moreover, is important to the develop-
ment of Mankind— because while Rome and Greece did not de-
velop anything basically new, Islam did. And if we hide the fact
that Islam, not Rome or Greece, invented science, we will miss
the area in which must lie a unique force. Rome and Greece did
not have that unique force; as pointed out above, many other
peoples developed logic, mathematics and engineering. Studying
Rome and Greece for the source-force that generated that unique
thing, Science, therefore, would lead to frustration. You won't be
able to find it, no matter how finely you comb the records; it
wasn't there in the first place.
The contribution of Islam has been heavily occluded by prop-
aganda started in the age when the West and Islam were strug-
gling. Actually, most of our basic sciences are heavily larded
with Arabic terminology. Chemistry has dropped the old Arabic
prefix al- from its own name, but retains it in alcohol— the Mo-
hammedans invented distillation— and a number of other in-
stances. The alembic is no longer used, but chemists need the
Arabic numerals— borrowed from India— and aZgebra.
One of the major troubles was the chemists didn't borrow
enough. Lavoisier is credited with introducing the balance into
78 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
chemical investigations. But as early as the eighth century (A.D.)
the Arab chemist Yber-Abou-Moussah-Djafer Al-Sofi reported
that when metallic lead is heated and calcined in air, the resulting
compound is heavier than the original metal. Somebody must
have been using the balance a bit before Lavoisier thought of it.
Now at the time of Islam's greatest achievement, their influ-
ence extended from Spain to India. They were in contact with
Hindu, Chinese and other civilizations. But, curiously, only two
cultures in the history of Mankind have either invented or ac-
cepted Science. The highly civilized Chinese neither invented
it, nor accepted it from the Arabs. The Hindus, likewise, failed
either to invent or accept it. The Christians didn't invent it— but
they did accept it.
In this, I mean by "science" that method of learning that in-
volves the equal interaction and cross-checking of philosophical-
theoretical thought, and actual physical-reality experiments, done
as a conscious process for the consciously stated purpose of in-
creasing knowledge and understanding— that is, increasing data
Why? Why only these two?
Unquestionably, in any system so complex as a human culture,
there is more than one factor. But we can find a factor that is
present in these two, and missing in the others that achieved
greatly— but didn't achieve Science.
The Scientific cultures have an Absolutistic philosophy— and a
monotheistic philosophy. Remember that * religion' ' is, by deriva-
tion, the study of "the laws of things"— or "cosmology" in modern
Both Mohammedanism and Christianity stem from the old
Jewish philosophy of One God— an Absolute God, whose laws
were absolute, and could be appealed only to the One Absolute
The Greeks were in a quite different Universe. It didn't have
any single set of laws or rules; if Zeus made a ruling, one you
found irksome, you could try getting Athena or Poseidon or
Aphrodite, maybe, to change it. If there was some curious phe-
nomenon observed— observe it and forget it. The whim of a god
isn't lasting; some other god will change it. The smart man will
RELATIVELY ABSOLUTE 79
study texts on "The Psychology and the Rivalries of the Gods,"
because that's the only way to get anywhere.
If an ancient Greek observed that it took longer to boil an egg
on top of a mountain than it did at sea level— so what? You fool,
don't you know Zeus and Poseidon dislike each other? Poseidon
rules water; Zeus rules the upper air. What do you think is going
to happen to water when you take it up nearer the upper air?
Naturally it doesn't work as well.
And if you study Platonic philosophy, and find that it has cer-
tain uncomfortably binding restrictions on your actions— why the
Sophist school is just as logical. It just appeals to other Gods— er,
I mean other postulates— but it's just as logical, isn't it? Of course.
And there's no need to stay with it, if it proves irksome; there are
other philosophies, too.
A polytheistic cosmology is not going to lead to the develop-
ment of science. Science is, moreover, going to be a mighty un-
popular philosophy in any culture; it has an absolutism about it
that says "It makes no difference who you are, what you are, or
what you want. Neither does it matter what your wealth is, or
your political power. These are The Laws; obey or suffer."
It could be considered, even, only by a culture that had already
accepted the idea of an Absolute Power in the Universe.
The great difficulty with that problem is that, once you've
found that Absolutes do exist— you're apt to go sort of absolutistic
about it, and say "These are the Absolute Laws— and these are
absolutely all the laws."
The Jewish people invented the monotheistic philosophy that
made science possible— but they didn't invent science. They had
too much of the absolute, perhaps. The Arabs were relatively ab-
solute—and invented Science.
Christians and Jews have done fine with it ever since; until
very recently nobody else has been able to!
It rather looks, then, as though Einstein's relativity is an es-
sential part of the philosophy necessary to developing Science—
but must be recognized as being necessary, but not sufficient.
There is reason to believe that both relatives and absolutes are
necessary to a developing science— that either, if held to be the
80 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Be All and End All of the matter leads to stagnation and non-
Now it is interesting that the whole progress of science has
centered around that area where there are Absolutes— the areas
where no man has a right to his own opinion. The progress made
in the social sciences, where opinion has been dominant, and
everything has been fanatically relative, has been very small in-
deed. Psychology claims to be a "young science"; we can go into
that question some other time, but it's worth pointing out that
Aristotle did a fine textbook on psychology, sociology and an-
thropology some two-thousand-odd years ago. "The Confessions
of St. Augustine" has a most thoughtful and intelligent study of
guilt feelings. The Aesculapian priests of Greece were using
narcosynthesis— drug hypnotherapy— some twenty-five hundred
years ago. The age of the Hindu Vedda is considerably disputed,
but it's not much younger— and has considerable data on clinical
psychosomatic medicine using hypnotherapy. There's really been
astonishingly little progress in the humanic sciences in the last
The progress has all been in those areas where dear old Mother
Nature took a club to Man's thick skull, and said, in effect, "This
is the unit you'll use— whether you like it or not. Your opinion on
the matter is completely unimportant. And yes, Tom, your opin-
ion is just as good as Dick's or Harry's— and all three are no good
whatever." Where Nature supplied absolutely non-relative units,
like atoms and photons, Science got somewhere.
Want to have some fun with the relativity formulas? Try tak-
ing some different units, and see what happens to them! The
relativity formulas involve a lot of higher power terms— squares,
cubes, and higher. If you take your unit of velocity not as cen-
timeters per second, but as c, then all the higherpower terms of
c reduce to 1.00, no matter what the power is. Then the v terms
all become fractional, and higher powers of fractions are smaller
values than the original fraction, whereas higher powers of quan-
tities greater than 1.000 are increased by self-multiplication. By
picking the right set of self -consistent units, you can make the
RELATIVELY ABSOLUTE 8l
most marvelous hash out of the relativity formulas— without al-
tering the formulas an iota!
And if we've got a relativistic universe, with no absolutes in
it, then I can play deuces- wild with the units. You start being
relativistic, and I'll relativistic you right out of business! I'll make
as much of a mess out of your science as the humanic scientists
have made out of theirs. All I need is the right to make my choice
of units purely a matter of personal preference!
I KNOW WHAT YOU SAY .
Words are simply sound-symbols for concepts; the meaning of a
sound-symbol is not rigidly, unchangeably connected to a con-
cept, so subtle change can readily set in. And usually does, of
course, unless specific efforts are made to establish a solid, rigid
correlation between symbol and concept. Science has made prog-
ress largely by reason of working with hard, rigid definitions, and
sticking to them. That's the only way you can discover you're
stuck with one— and admit the need for a change of concept.
But outside of science, the concepts sort of ooze out from un-
der a symbol, without anyone actually admitting the change has
taken place. The only way you can check, then, is to recall the
old, pragmatic dictum, "I don't care what you say; what do you
do?" Physical science has accepted rigid definitions, because phys-
ical science is one hundred per cent concerned with action-
doing. An electron is a concept— but the term refers to a pattern
of behavior, of doings.
I want to discuss a certain American sound-symbol, one that
has badly slipped its moorings. Discussing the symbol is pretty
useless, under such circumstances, because it can be shown that
"history proves that . . ." by referring to what that sound-symbol
did refer to. So let's set up a brand-new, nonsense word and de-
fine it in terms of action-doing. Reason: We'll have a term which,
as a term, has no historical values whatever. We'll be forced to
discuss the historical value of the action-doing system it refers to,
because the term itself has no history.
Then we can, later, cross-check with the historical terms, and
see how much, and in what direction, the terms have slipped.
Let's use the term "gwolic system" to refer to a particular eco-
nomic philosophy. We'll define a "gwolic system" as a system un-
der which major units of economic production are allowed to be
controlled in an essentially arbitrary manner by individuals who
gain their position by demonstrating unusual competence and
"i KNOW WHAT YOU SAY . . ." 83
ability. The individual executive under this system is not respon-
sible to any higher authority for his individual decisions, but is
held accountable for the over-all success or failure of his steward-
Under the gwolic system, the individual who shows executive
competence by maintained over-all success, is automatically able
to achieve the same type of arbitrary, individually-determined
control over greater and greater economic units.
Mistakes he may make, causing a loss, he need not explain nor
account for to anyone else, so long as his net average performance
is as good or better than that of his highest-ranking competitor.
However, under the gwolic system, if his average is surpassed
by a competing executive . . . he's out.
The system is, obviously, a little rugged on the individual ex-
ecutive; there is no guarantee of job-security, nor any reward for
length of service.
But it has marked advantages from the viewpoint of the econ-
omy as a whole. It assures that the major productive units of the
economy will be in the hands of individuals of exceptionally high
competence. And the control is not determined on a basis of pre-
determined theory or ideology, but on the harsh, pragmatic test
Further, workability is necessary, but not sufficient. If John
Jones has made the economic unit under his control work, and
work well . . . that's only enough to hold the job temporarily. As
soon as someone comes along who can make it more workable,
John Jones is out, and the new man is in.
Notice that the executive is free to make any arbitrary deci-
sion that he, personally, tbinks is sound— and no over-riding board
peering over his shoulder reviews those decisions before they're
acted on. He's a dictator, free to impose his opinions on the eco-
nomic unit under his control. The only limitation imposed on him
is that the net result of his actions must be advantageous.
That this system would lead to high productivity, and a maxi-
mum rate of growth is fairly evident. That it would be hard on
the individual executive is also obvious. It would also, of course,
be hard on the individuals employed in the economic unit when
the executive did make a major blunder.
84 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
So much for a definition-description of a "gwolic system/'
Now what historical name does this system correspond to?
The old-fashioned Capitalistic system, of course. The executive
accumulated control over a major economic unit by accumulating
capital; he owned the resultant unit, and managed it on a private-
decision basis, without supervisory control. If he managed it well,
on the average, his executive power was increased by further
accumulation. If he slipped once or twice, he learned from the
experience ... or, if he didn't learn, he went bankrupt, and the
control passed to others who could do better.
Further, if he was doing a good job, but another man came
along who could do better . . . control was gradually taken from
him, and the wiser executive gained.
The individual executive, under that system, was uncontrolled
in so far as immediate decisions were concerned . . . but defi-
nitely controlled by loss of economic control if he continued to
Now let's consider another type of system, one we'll call a "ngoric
system." A ngoric system is characterized by committee-and-
theory control of economic units. Executives are appointed, but
they operate under policy established by the committee, acting
on an agreed-on theory of How It Should Be. The immediate
success or failure of the economic unit so controlled is not so im-
portant; the realization of the theoretical goal established is. Thus,
even if one economic unit continues to function at a loss for a
considerable period, it will be maintained, because the theory
requires that it be done that way. Even an economic unit that
does not work can be maintained under the ngoric system, be-
cause it should be.
The larger the scope of the committee and theory, the less
workability of any one economic unit matters, and the less im-
portant competence of the executive becomes.
The ngoric system has obvious advantages; for handling long-
range projects involving a long period of initiation, it is self-
evidently excellent. The mammals, in essence, introduced the
ngoric system, when they introduced long-term care of the young.
The young are always incompetent, and an economic loss, until
"l KNOW WHAT YOU SAY ..." 85
a very large investment of time, effort, and energy has developed
It's also the ngoric system that makes research laboratories pos-
sible. Governments, too, operate largely on the ngoric system.
What historical term corresponds to this defined system? The
Socialistic system, of course; it is a system wherein government
committees, operating under theory, appoint executives to oper-
ate economic units. The fact that an economic unit isn't producing
adequately doesn't mean that anything is wrong in a socialistic
system; the theory is important, not the practice. If it's a thing
that should work, then patience, and continued subsidy, is sure to
make it succeed.
Of course, it's a little hard to tell whether the personnel of the
project is competent; the mere fact that their project isn't get-
ting anywhere doesn't prove anything, of course. It takes time for
these things. And it is difficult to get satisfactory executives for
Socialistic programs; so many of the highly competent individuals
are so impatient with theories, and show such poor acceptance
of proper organizational procedure and discipline. They keep
tending to act on their own, instead of consulting the committee
before making any moves.
And now the big question: Which type of system— Capitalistic or
Socialistic— does the United States have today?
Socialistic, of course. Yes, I know they say it's Capitalistic . . .
but what do they do? Can a major economic unit make a move
today without consulting with some series of committees? If it
isn't the Securities Exchange Commission, it's the Federal Trade
Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, a state
Utilities Commission, or, at minimum, some Labor Committee.
Congress doesn't have the power to make executive decisions for
private capital companies like the American Telephone and Tele-
graph Company, of course. But the Department of Justice forced
their subsidiary, the Bell Telephone Laboratories, to renounce its
rights under the Patent Law. (As it did also for IBM, and is in
process of doing to RCA. ) And, of course, the Federal Communi-
cations Commission rulings determine what the company execu-
tives must do. And it was long ago pointed out that "the power
86 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
to tax is the power to destroy ," which fact both Congress and the
A.T.&T. thoroughly appreciates.
No executive of a major economic unit in this country is free to
operate without half a dozen committees peering over his shoul-
der. No economic moves involving finance can be undertaken
without first consulting the Securities Exchange Commission.
Meanwhile, the railroads operate almost uniformly in a state of
quasi-bankruptcy. They, the only inherently efficient long-haul,
heavy-duty transportation system, are being taxed and unionized
into inoperable condition.
Now, on the other hand, let's see what kind of economic system
the vaunted Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has.
Practically pure gwolic! Sure, the executive may be called a
"commissar" instead of "owner"— but he's an executive having di-
rect, personal authority over major economic units, held respon-
sible for the over-all success of his unit, but not for his individual
decisions toward that end.
Ah, me, how the symbols and the referent concepts do ooze
Soviet Russia has, in all the action-doing particulars, an almost
pure Capitalistic system . . . while the Capitalistic United States
has an almost pure Socialistic economy!
One thing remains true; the gwolic system, under whatever
other name you put it, has historically proven, again and again,
the system that gets the most real accomplishment in the least
time. It worked wonderfully for the Americans, when we had it,
and it seems to be doing great things for the Russians now.
It always was a good system. Too bad we gave it up.
RESEARCH IS ANTISOCIAL
Xrays weren't discovered by logical deduction, followed by a log-
ically constructed, crucial experiment; they were called "Xrays"
because, when Roentgen first observed the effect, it was a com-
plete, and unexplainable surprise. Unexplainable— and therefore,
of course, unpremeditatable, unpredictable, and unplanned.
It was not the result of sound, scientifically organized research.
It just happened.
What do we mean by the term "research" today?
I believe it can be shown that there are two broad classes of
search-into-the-unknown, two classes that can be sharply differ-
entiated in the sense "north" and "south" can be clearly and
sharply differentiated. They are opposite directions— though it's
perfectly obvious that New York City is north of Washington al-
though it's south of Montreal. If you want to confuse an issue,
obfuscate a point, if you want simply to defeat an argument, that
makes things easy. Just confuse direction with position, and you
can argue both ends against the middle, pick either side you want
and "prove" it. "You can't say that New York is north 1 Why, it's
certainly not even in the arctic zone!"
The two directions of search-of-the-unknown we might call ex-
search and insearch; together, they constitute research.
By "insearch," I mean that class of search-of-the-not-yet-known
which involves deducing the meaning implicit in the set of postu-
lates we are working with— "making the self-evident obvious."
Ideally, a sufficiently well designed, and sufficiently large logical
machine, such as the direct lineal descendants of the modern
electronic computers might be, could carry insearch to comple-
tion, and deduce all the consequences of a given set of postulates.
Theoretically, at least, a logic machine could deduce from Eu-
clid's postulates, all the theorems of Euclidean geometry. Since
this involves exhausting an infinity, the thing can't be done by
88 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
any existable machine; see Isaac Asimov's "Hemoglobin and the
Universe" for a detailed development of why it can't.
Insearch, then, is an infinite field; unlimited work can be done
in deducing the consequences of a given set of postulates.
But . . . notice very carefully that "infinity" is not "all"! Al-
though a logic machine could theoretically deduce all the con-
sequences of Euclidean geometry, this term "all" is not the same
as the term "all" in the phrase "all possible geometrical theorems."
There's the old pseudo-syllogism about the cat-o'-nine-tails:
1. Any cat has one more tail than no cat.
2. No cat has eight tails.
3. Therefore, any cat has nine tails.
The trick, of course, is that "no cat" means two totally different
things in the first two statements.
"All consequences of Euclid's postulates" is a limited infinity-
it's infinite, but bounded. It's like an asymptotic curve; it goes on
forever, yet it never gets beyond certain limits.
And the theorems of curved spaces lie outside the limits of
Euclidean geometry. Therefore the logical machine, even if it
exhausted the infinity of Euclidean geometry, would none the
less never reach curved-space theorems.
The logic machine type of search is insearch— an infinite, but
By exsearch, I mean search for the unknowns outside the limits
of known postulates.
Einstein's work, of course, was exsearch; he went outside the
limits of Euclidean geometry, which, up to that time, had been
considered the laws of real-world space. Einstein didn't originate
the curved-space geometry; the postulate Einstein transcended
was the one which held "Euclidean geometry describes real-
world space." Only by going outside the bounds of that postulate
—doing exsearch outward from the known limits— was it possible
to achieve Relativity.
No possible deductions staying within the then-known limits-
no logic machine, however immense or rapid— could have gone
from Newtonian physics and Euclidean geometry to Relativity.
It couldn't have, because the postulate "Euclidean geometry ap-
RESEARCH IS ANTISOCIAL 89
plies to real-world space/' would have forced it to cancel out as
inconsistent any deductions that led in that direction.
Exsearch is, necessarily, contralogical; it transcends the logi-
cal bounds. However, the moment it has done so, and established
a new outpost in the thitherto Unknown Outside . . . that im-
mediately becomes a new postulate, so the area is instantly inside
the new postulate system!
Research necessarily includes both processes— and if either one
is omitted, the result is not true research.
Under current social dogma, research is antisocial! Only in-
search is socially acceptable; if you cut a process in two, and
throw away one half, you do not have the process any more.
To show that a particular culture holds a particular postulate
concept is always difficult. To show that our own culture holds a
postulate concept which it denies holding is extremely difficult
. . . when you're trying to show that to members of that culture!
Certainly America vigorously insists on its high regard and
belief in the value of Research.
Yes . . . but ... "I know what you say, but what do you do?"
What America does in fact value most highly is insearch. But
exsearch is culturally rejected, and exsearchers are punished!
Let me validate that statement.
The most highly organized group of professional scientists, with
the longest period of recognition as a group, and the group most
fully expressed in legislation, is that of the Medical Doctors. The
forces that are still vague and poorly focused in other fields have
had time to crystallize and clarify their consequences in Medi-
cine. It takes time to work out the logically deducible conse-
quences of any given set of postulates, in the older field of
Medicine, those postulates have been worked out. Therefore the
results are more clearly visible.
The same essential forces are at work elsewhere; I start with
Medicine solely because it has had more time to clarify the con-
sequences of those forces.
A culture expresses its philosophy in its laws; if the philosophy
holds human life cheap, so do the laws. If the philosophy accepts
slavery, there are laws about slavery. If the cultural philosophy
go COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
accepts research, there are laws about research. Patent laws, for
example. The laws regulating Medicine represent the interac-
tion of the philosophy of Medicine itself, and the culture; each
finds expression in the resultant legislation. If either Medicine or
the culture were violently, fundamentally opposed to an idea, the
laws would be changed. The present situation is decades old.
It is, then, legitimate to argue that whatever the laws hold rep-
resents something not unacceptable to the philosophy both of
Medical Science and American culture.
Suppose a patient comes to a doctor, and careful examination
reveals that he has leukemia. His own doctor sends him to spe-
cialists, to a clinic, and it is definitely determined that this in-
dividual has leukemia.
As of now, leukemia is an invariably fatal disease; the treat-
ment methods accepted as standard by Medical Science, in
other words, invariably fail to produce cure. The mortality rate is
one hundred per cent.
Now consider two possibilities:
1. The doctor treats his patient according to standard Medi-
2. The doctor treats his patient according to an unorthodox
technique of his own.
If he uses Standard Operating Procedure, he knows with very
high certainty that his patient will die. He does so; the patient
If he uses an unorthodox treatment of his own on a group of
patients, let us say he gets a thirty per cent rate of cure, while
seventy per cent of his patients die.
Under the second situation, the doctor can be harassed by mal-
practice suits by the family of any of his patients who die. If he
used the orthodox procedure, in the full knowledge that it would
fail, he cannot be prosecuted.
The culture, and Medical Science are in full agreement; if it is
orthodox, it's "good," even if it never works— but if it is unortho-
dox, it is "bad," even if it succeeds!
Suppose a doctor treats a leukemia patient by a new and un-
orthodox method, and the patient survives, recovers completely,
but his unorthodox curative drug causes a side-effect that pro-
RESEARCH IS ANTISOCIAL gi
duces complete loss of hair. The doctor can be sued by the
When Ehrlich introduced 606 as a treatment for syphilis, some
individuals died of arsenic poisoning as a result of its use. Ehr-
lich was violently attacked; it took a trial to clear him.
If a doctor used an unorthodox method, and used it success-
fully—he would still be liable to expulsion from the Medical So-
Now if the doctor could show that his unorthodox treatment
both worked, and was logically deducible from accepted postu-
lates—he would be let off with a very severe warning, and most
definitely told not to do that again.
Reason: He violated the postulate: "All new treatments must
be accepted by the Authorities before they can be tried."
Both Medical Science and the culture must approve in actual
fact of this attitude expressed in our laws: if it's orthodox, it's
good, even if it never works, while the unorthodox must never be
tried, even if the orthodox method is known to fail every time.
Now consider passing a law to this effect: That a doctor who
uses a known method of treatment, under circumstances wherein
it is known to fail invariably, is guilty of malpractice and may be
sued by his patients.
An immediate consequence of this would be that every doctor
who used standard, orthodox treatment on leukemia patients
would automatically be open to a malpractice suit. Those meth-
ods are known to be inadequate; why, then, should the society
tolerate their continued use?
Under such a situation, doctors would be forced to do exsearch
work on the problem. Inevitably, some progress would be made.
The time, effort, and money now being thrown away on known-
to-be-useless treatment of leukemia victims would, at least, yield
some genuine research benefits to the society.
Treatment by rubbing with redistilled essence of rattlesnake
oil could not be less valuable than treatment by a method known
to be futile.
But— to establish such a situation is to establish the proposition
that exsearch is a tolerable, even a valuable thing.
Obviously, no matter what the culture, and Science may say
02 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
about that, the simple fact that the laws are what they are show
that they do something entirely different. They do suppress ex-
As I said, I cite Medical Science only because it is longest es-
tablished, and most thoroughly embodied in laws. The fact that
the culture accepts those laws shows clearly that the philosophy
behind them must be not-unacceptable to the culture. Then we
should be able to find the same philosophy expressed elsewhere
in the culture, though perhaps not codified in so clear a form as
in the medico-legal instance.
Consider a business executives problem when an inventor
comes to him and claims he has a wonderful new idea.
The executive's first move is to call in his professional experts
in the field involved.
Assume that there is no professional jealousy whatever in-
volved; that the professional experts are honest, sincere, and well-
trained, and that the inventors idea involves an exsearch step
that flatly violates what they know to be true.
The professional experts turn down the idea. "It's manifestly
impossible; it would involve a violation of Frahmstahl's Law if it
did work! If he presents a 'demonstration' of his idea, it must
necessarily be a hoax ... or at best it's a mistake."
If the executive plays a hunch, and backs the inventor, despite
the honest advice of the professional experts ... his board of
directors will be decidedly hard to satisfy. His action is not logi-
cally defensible. Even if the inventor has presented a demonstra-
tion that convinces the executive, his action is still indefensible
in view of the testimony of the experts.
Furthermore, even if the inventor proves to be right, and his
device does actually work, the executive will still have a rough
time with his Board! Even under these conditions, their attitude
will be, "Welllll . . . you got away with it this time, but only by
luck! Don't ever do any such illogical thing again, though; under-
In a logic-based culture, only logically defensible research is ac-
ceptable—and that means insearch only.
RESEARCH IS ANTISOCIAL 93
We hear a lot of discussion of the vital necessity of more "fun-
damental research" today.
Take a look at the laws— at what our culture does— and judge
what "research" means to them.
Somebody formulated the motto: "Don't undertake vast proj-
ects with half-vast people."
A research plan that tolerates only insearch, and punishes
exsearch, however big a project it may be, is only a half -vast pro-
PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF
THE VALUE OF PANIC
There's a well-known and well-hated law of laboratory experi-
ment that goes, "In a laboratory experiment, if something can go
wrong ... it will."
"Wrong" in this sense usually means that a random factor gets
in, where none is supposed to be. And random factors, by defi-
nition, can do anything. It could even improve the results of the
experiment, of course.
Dr. Wayne Batteau, of the Harvard School of Applied Sci-
ence, has been studying the basic structure of the scientific
method from the viewpoint of Information Theory analysis. One
of the interesting logical results— translated from symbols into
English— is "In total ignorance, try anything. Then you won't be
Let's add a third item; all higher animal life-forms display the
characteristic that, when under extreme environmental pressure,
they can go into panic behavior, acting with great violence and
determination in a manner entirely different from the normal be-
havior patterns of the organism. This applies all the way up to
and including man.
Usually, panic behavior is characterized by its ineffectiveness
or complete inappropriateness. The woman who tosses the mirror
out the window of her burning home, and carries the pillow care-
fully down the stairs, is essentially similar in behavior to the
chicken that, panicked by the rapidly approaching automobile,
runs frantically, squawking, for home . . . into the path of the
Panic certainly appears to be an utterly negative, useless, and
destructive characteristic, and has almost invariably been so la-
Maybe it isn't, though. If it were so completely useless, why
would three billion years of evolution have yielded organisms
which, quite uniformly, retain the characteristic?
98 collected editorials from Analog
Perhaps Dr. Batteau's statement of the case is applicable.
Given: An organism with N characteristic behavior modes avail-
able. Given: An environmental situation which cannot be solved
by any of the N available behavior modes, but which must be
solved immediately if the organism is to survive. Logical conclu-
sion: The organism will inevitably die. But ... if we introduce
Panic, allowing the organism to generate a purely random be-
havior mode not a member of the N modes characteristically
When the probability of survival is zero on the basis of all
known factors— it's time to throw in an unknown. Panic is not
logical— but it is most exceedingly sensible, as a basic mechanism
If an organism is being attacked by a predator, the predator
has a plan of campaign all figured out. It knows the characteristic
behavior of its prey, what its defensive and evasive maneuvers
are, and how to compensate those variables. For the predator, it's
a sort of laboratory experiment.
But the experiment can go wrong, if the victim can introduce a
purely random, uncompensated, and unpredicted factor. It might
cause his survival.
Panic behavior is, necessarily, unlikely to yield useful re-
sults—the probability of any particular random act leading to suc-
cess is pretty small. But— an organism doesn't use panic in a
random fashion; it uses the panic mechanism only after all known,
high-probability methods have been ruled out as having no prob-
ability of success. Under those conditions, panic has the maximum
probability of success, simply because it never has a zero prob-
If I ask the question, "What number am I thinking of?" you
have a certain, extremely small chance of guessing the right an-
swer. But if you answer "Isaac Newton," the probability of that
being correct is, obviously, zero. When a certain pattern is spe-
cifically, and positively known to be a wrong answer, then any
random pattern has a higher probability.
These simple facts have a very great bearing on an important
human problem; the problem of the quack doctor, particularly
the cancer quack. The method of attack on the problem now
THE VALUE OF PANIC 99
being used specifically has zero probability of success; it is in-
herently futile to pass laws against him, because three billion
years of evolution have established that his function is necessary!
Consider this: John Brown, rich bachelor, without family, is found
to have cancer. It happens to be a type which cannot be treated
by surgery, radiation, or drugs; it is inoperable, incurable, and
inevitably lethal. The best and most competent medical experts
examine him, and assure him that there is nothing that medical
science can do.
If John Brown is a sane, rational man, and believes that his
doctors are competent and expert, he will recognize that it is now
time to go into panic. He will reject any further medical con-
sultations, because he has been assured, by the best available
authorities, that medical technique has zero probability of help-
ing. The only rational thing to do, if he trusts the competence of
his doctors, is to look for non-medical help. Any other course of
action is irrational.
It will be far more rational for John Brown to go to a hex doctor
in the Pennsylvania hills, or to a South American Indian witch
doctor, than to a licensed m.d., he has been authoritatively in-
formed by doctors who know medical technology thoroughly, that
medical technology cannot help. No one knows enough about
the technology of a hex doctor to make such an authoritative
statement; therefore it is perfectly rational to try anything other
than a licensed m.d. A licensed m.d. is the one type of healer he
knows cannot help him.
He may try mysticism, astrology, herbal remedies, psychother-
apy, or any unlicensed, unorthodox, medically-rejected quack.
The very fact that the quack has been rejected by medical sci-
ence is John Browns assurance that he has some idea that medi-
cal science does not have.
He will be perfectly sensible and rational to spend every
nickel of his fortune in this way, so long as he does not spend it
with regularly licensed physicians I
Only if John Brown does not trust his original doctors to have
full and competent knowledge of medical technology can he have
reason to visit another orthodox m.d.
100 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
John Brown is in an environmental situation of lethal stress,
and ovemhelming immediacy; he might donate his money to the
American Cancer Society— but there'll be another John Brown's
body mouldering in the grave, which is what concerns him.
Trying to legislate against the quack cancer doctor is trying to
prevent the ancient human right to try anything, when all known
methods fail. There isn't anything more ultimately hopeless than
to seek to prevent a man who knows he has no chance within the
orthodox framework from trying unorthodox methods. Further-
more, it's inherently unethical; if medical science cannot help the
man— they have no business whatever trying to deny him help
from any other source, whether they think that other source is
valid or not.
The Panic Experiment is an inherent right of every living
entity; three billion years of evolution shows it makes sense. The
one tiling that a wise therapy organization can do is to help the
Panic Experimenters, and allow them to help humanity by mak-
ing their Panic Experiments— their random, try-anything experi-
ments—as efficiently useful in gathering understanding as possible.
It's an ancient, basic right, that right to try anything. If the
medical profession wants to help— help that right constructively,
instead of futilely, and quite pointlessly, trying to block it. The
simple fact remains; if you can't help a man— don't try to keep
him from seeking other help.
The medical profession has a tough problem, however. Natu-
rally, no m.d. would be an m.d. if he felt that a hex doctor's train-
ing was more effectively curative. How then can a commission of
m.d.'s evaluate hex doctors as to whether they are intentional
quacks, or experimenters sincerely trying a different approach to
a problem that medical science hasn't yet solved?
How is Panic to be evaluated? It consists, essentially, of ac-
knowledging that no known method is adequate, and that an un-
known must be tried. Suppose that the unknown is applied, and
that shortly thereafter John Brown is found free of cancer.
Now how do we evaluate that? That medical efforts applied
previously had finally taken effect? That the Unknown— let's say
it was laying-on-of-hands by a hex doctor— was the cause of the
THE VALUE OF PANIC 101
effect? That the change in his whole life-pattern that took place
when he accepted the need for the Panic Experiment caused a
change in some psychogenic factor that underlay his cancer?
The m.d. will reject the laying-on-of-hands; it isn't a uni-
versally repeatable experiment. It cannot be fitted into any
framework of cause-effect logic now known. It isn't, and can't be
made into, a teachable science.
It's an individual- vs. -group problem again. The individual hex
doctor laid on his individual hands, and cured John Brown, in-
dividual. But what good does that do anyone else, if it isn't teach-
able? Understandably, John Brown isn't too concerned about that,
just now; he's cured.
But there are other problems. There was an old doctor in Up-
per Michigan, years ago, who had his own mystic salve for
wounds. (Not cancer.) Some weird gunk of his own. The local
medical society tried several times to make him shut up practice,
but didn't succeed. The salve was analyzed at the University of
Michigan and rated worthless. People liked his salve, and claimed
it helped on ulcerated sores. The medical society objected
strongly, back in the '20s and '30s, because it was perfectly or-
dinary salve, except for some highly unsterile, foul-smelling mold
he put in it.
By all that was then known, putting a mold in a wound salve
was not only nonsense— it was unsanitary, and wrong. How were
the doctors then to guess that the old boy had, somehow, acci-
dentally stumbled on some high-potency antibiotic producer? Un-
derstandably, they were intensely irked that the old fool with
his crazy salve was so well-regarded by patients who didn't know
any better. To the best of their sincere and honest judgment, the
salve was, or should be, a menace to the health of the patients.
It contained nothing beneficial, to the best of their knowledge,
and did contain something that was very probably— to their best
knowledge— decidedly unsterile. They would have been dishonest
if they had not maintained that, in their best judgment, the salve
was a menace. Certainly no honest doctor, in his right mind, in
1930 would have suggested to his patient that smearing a blue-
green bread mold on his wound would stop the ulcerative infec-
102 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
It just happened to be true.
That, in essence, is the problem of the cancer quack. It's com-
plicated by the fact that, as has been demonstrated repeatedly at
Lourdes and other shrines, in some individuals, for some un-
known reasons, faith-healing of cancer does take place. If John
Brown happened, for reasons unknown, to have developed enor-
mous faith in "Dr." Johannus Q. Diddlewiddy, and Dr. Diddle-
widdy gave him a series of injections of not-too-sterile salt
water— John Brown could have been completely, thoroughly, and
unarguably cured of his incurable cancer. Since present science
looks to objective causes for observed events . . . how to evaluate
Dr. Diddlewiddy's salt-water cure? Particularly if Dr. Diddle-
widdy happened to be not a money-grabber quack, but an
entirely sincere, however misguided, man? Suppose Dr. Diddle-
widdy has that mysterious power of "laying on of hands"— which
has been reported repeatedly— doesn't know it, and sincerely be-
lieves that his impure salt water is the curative agent?
Sure, the problem's tough. But it is not going to be banished by
trying to rule out "cancer-cure specialists" by legal action. The
W.C.T.U. tried to solve the problem of alcoholism by passing laws
The American Medical Association is going to get just about
equally effective results in trying to legislate away the ancient
human right to Try Anything when the panic situation arises.
Panic makes sense, then; legislating against panic action is
faintly ridiculous, isn't it?
FULLY IDENTIFIED .
One of the major faults I find with the "scientific approach" to
problems is the powerful tendency to hold that that-which-is-
known necessarily embraces all-that-is-possible. Stated in that
form, of course, any scientist would immediately deny it; it's nor-
mally stated in reverse form— i.e., "nothing known can produce
such effects, so it is clearly a hoax, misobservation, or fraud."
I've been interested for some years in watching the case of
Krebiozen, a cancer-treatment that has been vigorously attacked
by the AMA— as have all cancer treatments other than their ac-
cepted, standard procedures of radiation, surgery, and caustics.
There's been a running battle for years between the doctors who
have used the stuff and believe they have clear evidence it works,
and the AMA people who have not used it and insist it doesn't
For a long time, the Krebiozen faction refused, or claimed to
be unable to supply a purified sample of their material for AMA-
sponsored analysis; they demanded that the AMA make what
amounts to a biological assay test— i.e., run a standard double-
blind test of the effectiveness of the remedy in actual cancer
cases. In a double-blind test, neither the doctor nor the patient
knows which individuals are getting the test-drug, and which are
getting blank solutions; only a central computer has the number-
correlations that finally match results with identification. This is
the one type of test that assures that subjective factors will not
influence either the patient's reactions, nor the doctor's evalua-
The new drug laws— resulting in part from the thalidomide
furore— finally made it possible for the AMA, working through
the Federal Drug Administration, to force the Krebiozen faction
to supply a concentrate of their material for chemical analysis.
Chemical analysis has many powerful tools these days; infrared
spectroscopy shortly permitted identification. The infrared
104 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
spectrum of the Krebiozen sample was shown to match, one-to-
one, the infrared spectrum of a well-known protein component of
muscle tissue— creatine. The effects of creatine being well known
—none whatever— it was at once clear that Krebiozen could not
have any useful effects, as the AMA had long maintained.
There is, it seems to me, just one slight hitch in that simple-
I am prepared to supply an extremely effective herbicide
which I can positively guarantee can be shown by the most care-
ful chemical analysis to consist of extremely pure water. "Con-
ductivity water/' in fact— water so extremely purified that it does
not conduct electricity. There will be less than o.ooi parts per
million of impurity in it. And chemical analytical techniques
haven't even started to get good enough to reach that level of
Which seems sort of contradictory, in view of the fact that cer-
tain impurities in water, present in concentration of about io~ 15
are legally defined as making the water "impure." And I am not
talking about radioactives, either— perfectly ordinary chemical
compounds of stable elements.
My herbicide belongs to the same type-class; a concentration
of io~ 18 or so would be quite adequate to ruin a field of growing
plants. Readily proven by biological assay . . . but some ten
orders of magnitude beyond the reach of chemical analysis!
How? Well, starting with conductivity water, I need add only a
very minute trace of a known crystalline material— tobacco mo-
saic virus. The resultant solution, sprayed on young tobacco
plants, could do quite a job, couldn't it?
And the legal definition of impure water has to do with the
permissible concentration of bacteria coli in the water. Anyone
want to try to spot that quantity of complex protein by chemical
So Krebiozen contains creatine? Well, well . . . And what else
does it contain? Probably some hydrogen oxide too, I betcha.
Since it's extracted from horse serum, it's quite apt to contain a
couple of oddments of metabolic processes. Horses being noted
for their quantity of muscle tissue, the presence of a muscle tissue
FULLY IDENTIFIED . . . 105
extract of no significance isn't too startling, really. And since the
mighty powers of modern chemical analysis can t find anything
else present, that proves that creatine is all that's there.
Look friends ... I have a bottle of a nice clear solution that
should improve the situation for chemists who think like that.
They're free to analyze it to their hearts content ... if only
they'll drink it after they've "proven" it has nothing of any sig-
nificance in it. Lessee now ... we could load it with botulinus
spores ... or concentrated polio virus ... or even anthrax
spores; then we could let him boil it for an hour before swallow-
ing it, and still the damn fool would have personal experience
with the fact that the limits of his knowledge and talents are not
the limits of reality.
I have no personal interest in Krebiozen; I do have an acute
personal, as well as citizenship interest in the honesty of thinking
of science and medicine.
Anyone in a field of medical-biological work who considers,
even temporarily, that chemical analysis is adequate for the de-
termination of an unknown remedy is inexcusably incompetent,
dishonest, or muddleheaded beyond toleration.
To consider that spectrum identification is an adequate tool for
such work is even further in the direction of fantastic— appalling!
—irresponsibility. Obviously spectrum identification requires that
the spectrum be already known. This is a way to analyze an un-
One microgram of cobaltamine— vitamin B-12— is considered a
reasonably adequate vitamin supplement for that material. If an
adult consumes one kilogram of food, plus an additional kilogram
of water in a day, the concentration of that vital cobaltamine is
0.005 parts per million in his diet. You will, maybe, find this with
an infrared spectrum?
Cancer, it is currently believed, arises from cells whose growth-
regulating mechanisms have gone wrong— somehow the DNA-
RNA information has been altered disastrously.
It is currently believed that virus particles are more or less loose
DNA fragments, wrapped up in a protein capsule.
It's quite conceivable that the ultimate answer to cancer would
106 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
be a highly specific vims that contained precisely the DNA co-
dons that the cancer cells lacked— and attacked them, without,
of course, bothering normal cells at all. (One class of thing you
cannot learn is that which you already know. The cells that al-
ready have the codon information on self-restraint wouldn't
"learn" anything from such a virus; the cancer cells would.)
If someone prepared such a virus, and submitted a highly
active and adequate sample to the present AMA-FDA groups,
it's evident that it would be reported as "fully identified as a
solution of sodium chloride in water." Virus particles in normal
saline solution, concentrated to about io~ 12 would be an ex-
tremely powerful solution . . . biologically 1
Remember that it is inevitably necessary that I use analogies
which you, the reader, already know the answers to. If I handed
you an example, instead of an analogy, it would of course be
meaningless! I can, for instance, hand you an example-for-a-1935-
scientist, but it will be an analogy for you. Suppose I could bor-
row a time-transistor somehow, and slip back to the Bell
Telephone Laboratories, in 1935, and hand them a collection of a
few modern solid-state devices. Say a silicon diode rectifier, half
the size of a golf ball, rated at 150 amperes, 400 volts peak inverse.
(That would drive the power-supply division into a flying
frenzy! ) And a grown-crystal audio-amplifier unit, with grown-in
solid-state resistors, capacitors and transistors, half the size of a
pea. A simple little semi-microscopic germanium diode detec-
tor, too, and perhaps be very generous and supply a couple of
the new silicon carbide lasers. ("You put in the juice here and
here, and the coherent beam of blue light comes out here.")
Let us now stand back and watch the chemists try analyzing
that stuff. That silicon rectifier, now . . . they'll find it's a single
crystal of pure silicon. They haven't got a technique good enough
to come close to guessing how pure. (None of their reagents, or
the water they're using to analyze it, are pure enough anyway;
the techniques for getting commercially usable quantities of con-
ductivity water weren't developed until transistor work forced
them into use. ) And since they can't come close to the purity of
the silicon, they can't possibly detect the doping impurity that
makes it work. They won't do it with a spectroscope, either—
FULLY IDENTIFIED . . . \0J
partly because they don't know how to get a spectroscope clean
enough to do any good! The "background noise" of contaminants
in their reagents, their equipment, and the atmosphere they work
in would conceal the doping impurity.
A large part of the work the Bell Labs did in the years after
they did invent the transistor was concerned with developing
techniques for getting clean tools, clean reagents, clean equip-
ment, which made possible the modern transistor. It wasn't just
the concept of the transistor they developed; Bell Labs had to
develop a whole new chemical and industrial concept to make
"Zone refining" was one of those— a technique whereby already
ultra-purified germanium, silicon, or other material could be
Back around 1940, the people working with copper oxide rec-
tifiers at Bell Labs and other electronics industry research centers,
knew that copper from a certain area in Chile made the best
copper oxide rectifiers. Montana copper wasn't as good, nor was
African or Mexican.
Yeah— sure— everybody knows that copper is an element, and
an element is an element, and where it comes from has nothing to
do with the matter. And in the days before knowledge of the
"doping" behavior of semiconductive materials was available,
who knew that a small-fractional-part-per-million impurity could
make a huge difference?
The labs had tried analyzing the Chilean copper; they were
perfectly sure that there was some impurity present. But no tech-
nique known to science as of 1940 was able to detect it.
After the information was of no practical significance— copper
oxide rectifiers having been entirely displaced by silicon and
germanium diodes— techniques developed in transistor research
made it easy to determine the impurity. Zone refining, for in-
stance, can sweep all the impurities on a bar of germanium— or
copper— down to one end, thus concentrating them neatly for
analysis. But by then, of course, it had become a completely aca-
demic question. . . .
However, if someone says something like that business about
108 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
only Chilean copper being good for the device he's invented . . .
he almost certainly wins himself, right there, the "Strictly Crack-
On the other hand, when the AMA and FDA proudly an-
nounce that they have completely identified a previously un-
known remedy because they Ve identified the infrared spectrum
of one component . . . that, sir, is Science at Work!
Pardon me while I go back to Magic.
The magicians used to try something out before they decided
whether it worked or not.
"CREATINE HAS NO KNOWN
The FDA s recent blast at Krebiozen as being "nothing but crea-
tine" is of interest in view of the following item— a letter which
appeared in Science (17 November, 1964, p. 1113).
Pre-ig62 Creatine sought.
We are seeking help in finding 50 grams of Eastman ( Distillation
Products Corporation) creatine, catalog No. Q51, purchased prior
to 1Q62. We have been informed that the source of the creatine
sold by Eastman has changed, and toe find a different physio-
logical response from that formerly found in rats fed creatine.
Eastman has been unable to locate a supply of the earlier product
W. R. Todd, Department of Biochemistry,
University of Oregon Medical School, Poi-tland.
Whether there has been an impurity in the old which is not in
the new, or vice versa, seems to be undetermined at this point.
But of course, both lots were sold as being "nothing but crea-
The rats appear to have considered otherwise.
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK
"Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside."
Essay on Criticism
My recent editorial on "Fully Identified/* concerning the FDA's
press splash that Krebiozen had been "fully identified" as creatine
brought in a lot of letters, and a lot of phone calls from people
acutely interested in Krebiozen.
My point in the editorial had been single, simple, and specific:
whether Krebiozen was or was not useful in treatment of cancer
I did not know— but that the FDA's press release was exceed-
ingly bad science, anyone who took the trouble to study the
matter a little could readily see. It was a great piece of publicity
work— all about the summer student who tracked down the spec-
trogram . . . charts and whatnot— got a big splash in Life and the
newspapers. As publicity stuff, that was a Grade A piece of work.
Having some familiarity with the art myself, I recognize a real
That doesn't make it science. I've learned since that it not only
wasn't science, it wasn't even honest reporting. The sample of
Krebiozen the FDA reported on, according to data published in
the "Congressional Record," was light tan in color, and fluorescent
under ultraviolet light. Creatine is snow-white, and not fluores-
cent. The fact that any sophomore chemist would immediately
recognize that an impurity was present seems not to have
reached the scientists of the FDA's staff.
My objection was simply and solely to the specifically non-
scientific methods being used in the name of Science in that in-
stance. The letters I got— and the telephone calls— were from
individuals who had a very different problem.
One typical one was from an electronic engineer in his late
110 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
thirties. Four years ago he was operated on for cancer of the
intestines; a year ago the cancer recurred. The doctors who ex-
amined the situation then told him that it had spread, and was
inoperable; they could offer him only palliative medication that
would prolong his life, and reduce the pain.
Six months ago, he started taking Krebiozen. The pain left, and
the tumor shrank away.
The FDA has now announced that they have "determined" on
the basis of "scientific evidence" that Krebiozen is ineffective be-
cause it is "nothing but creatine," and, therefore, have ruled that
he cannot have Krebiozen any more; it will be illegal to sell it.
So what's his situation? In effect, the FDA is telling him to go
back on a "morphine diet," and toddle off to the grave like a good
little man, and stop messing around with these unorthodox treat-
ments that aren't good for him.
I would like to raise a question here: Is it ethical for a group
of men who can offer him no hope whatever, to deny him the
right to try a remedy of which they do not approve?
For that matter, is it ethical to take from a man who is recover-
ing, a remedy which he believes is curing him?
Any doctor knows that there is such a thing as a "placebo ef-
fect"; that a completely inert material, which the patient believes
in, can produce an effect when a biologically potent material,
which the patient distrusts, will not.
One example of that: an arthritis patient, when cortisone first
began to become available, had been begging her doctor to let
her have some. The doctor told her it was hard to get, but that he
had a new remedy that was supposed to be almost as effective,
and he would start trying to get cortisone for her as soon as he
could. In the meantime . . .
He did, in fact, have cortisone on hand. He did, in fact, give
her cortisone injections. For four weeks, she was getting corti-
sone, while the doctor told her he was trying to get some for her.
She showed no improvement or reaction to the "substitute"—
which was in fact cortisone. The fifth week, with great showman-
ship, the doctor told her the cortisone had finally come in, showed
her the cortisone ampule with its label, filled a hypodermic with
sterile saline solution, and injected that.
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK 111
She showed immediate and dramatic improvement on the
sterile salt-water therapy.
That phenomenon is one of the things that makes evaluating
therapeutic techniques somewhat more difficult than measuring
a voltage, or weighing electrons or the companion star of Sirius.
The field of medicine is one area where subjective reality and
objective reality directly interact; they cannot be separated. The
term "psychosomatic' has been sort of dropped, and a new term
not including the offensive "psycho" term substituted; they are
now called "stress-associated diseases," or "stress-associated" con-
Every indication is that cancer is a stress-associated disease.
With the above data in mind— is it ethical for any group of men
to deny Krebiozen to an individual in the spot my telephone
caller was in?
The problem in this whole area of medical therapy is acutely
emotional; that is why such exceedingly bad "science" as the
FDA's Krebiozen report keeps showing up. It's long been known
that human beings tend to count their successes carefully, and
forget their misses— and to forget the other guy's successes, and
count all his misses. The more intensely emotional the situation,
the more powerfully that tendency is manifested.
And medicine is the field where emotional forces are on a full
par with objective forces. The problem is that that applies not
only to the patient— but to the doctor as well.
Let me put it this way: Consider two ideals of what a doctor
1. The patient wants a doctor whom he can trust not only as a
wise and learned man, but as a friend in his time of trouble, a
man with genuine sympathy and empathy— a man who is per-
sonally and genuinely concerned for his patient's welfare. Simply
—a doctor should be a man who cares what happens to his pa-
2. The theoretical ideal of a doctor is a man who is highly
trained, skilled, and intelligent, a man who thinks coolly and ob-
jectively at all times, in all emergencies, who does not get flus-
tered, and whose judgment is not warped by emotional factors.
112 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Look those two ideals over carefully— and you'll see at once
that they are mutually exclusive. If a man cares— then he is in-
fluenced by emotional factors. If he is cool and objective— then
he is not warmly sympathetic. Moreover, he'll make a poor doctor
—because the emotional factor is a critical factor in the therapy of
the patient, and the "cool, objective thinker" specifically with-
holds emotional warmth.
Now anyone— in or out of the medical profession— will agree
that there are always some cynical men who become doctors as
a way of making a high income, and getting high social status.
And that such men do not deserve the title "doctor."
And if you think about it carefully, you'll recognize that the
cynical, money-hungry, status-seeking m.d. will be coolly objec-
tive in his evaluations, his judgment will not be warped by emo-
tional involvements. He will, in other words, closely approximate
the logical-theoretical ideal of what a doctor should be . . . and
that no one wants for a therapist himself!
Such a doctor is like a highly skilled mercenary soldier; he may
be more skillful, more effective in the battle, than a true patriot
dedicated to the cause. He fights coolly, effectively, and skill-
fully—but entirely without loyalty or dedication. He wants his
side to win, because that's the side that will pay him for his work.
The man who is dedicated to a cause is, by definition, emo-
tionally involved in it; his evaluations of that cause will not be
objective. His judgment will be warped by his involvement.
A parent can not judge his child objectively; an Englishman
can't evaluate England's policies in the world objectively, any
more than an American can evaluate ours objectively. And a true,
dedicated healer-physician can not judge medicine objectively.
Yet each of those— parent, Englishman, American and doctor-
will be sincerely and honestly convinced that he is being objec-
And emotional involvement will make a well-trained, highly-
logical scientist become completely unreliable and unscientific.
It's long been known that it is very unwise of a doctor to treat
his own family; his hopes and fears— his emotional involvements
—will warp his judgment under precisely the circumstances he
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK 113
most ardently wants to be most effective. It is not ill-intent that
warps his judgment, but excess of deep concern!
Strangely, a doctor could be more accurate in his evaluations
when treating a man he despised than in treating his own wife or
Only the money-hungry status-seeking cynic— the medical mer-
cenary with high skill and no dedication— can remain objective!
There's intense emotion on the part of the patients, too, of course;
medicine is a matter of life and death, of health and crippling, of
successful living or agony and slow death. No other success can
have much value, if health is lost.
This leads to another aspect of the problem, one that affects the
medical mercenary as acutely as the dedicated doctor. In our cur-
rent society, the concept of the Welfare State and Security has
spread to a quite unsane degree. People now demand Security
against Death and ill health.
The Declaration of Independence was— as it openly states-
prepared primarily as a propaganda document. It asserts that
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are inalienable rights;
this is a self-evident falsity. If they were inalienable, no one
would ever have to defend them. The one truly inalienable right
is the right to try— with no guarantee whatever of success. You
have an inalienable right to try to live, to try to be free— but to-
day, the Welfare-Security concept has promoted the concept that
we should have those, that we should be guaranteed success in
And— that a doctor should guarantee that there is no risk in
The rise of that concept has led to more and more extreme
malpractice suits. It used to be that if a woman was unfortunate
enough to bear a Mongoloid idiot baby, she and her family would
accept it as one of the risks of life and the life-process of repro-
Now they sue the doctor.
It used to be that if someone were unlucky and seriously in-
jured in an automobile accident, they sued the driver who nearly
114 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Now they sue the doctor who stopped by the roadside and
rendered first-aid treatment.
Under this philosophy, Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan
would have wound up with the injured man suing the Good
Samaritan for restoration of the money the thieves took.
This constitutes a problem for the medical-mercenary as well
as the dedicated doctor. Such suits are always based on "second-
guessing" the doctor on the job. "If he hadn't done . . . then I
believe that . . ." is easy for the second-guessing doctor to say.
( And a doctor willing to second-guess under those circumstances
is always findable; the unskilled as well as undedicated medical
mercenaries specialize in that as a source of income.)
Some human beings are violently allergic to wheat, strawber-
ries or bee stings. This does not prove that wheat, strawberries or
bees are deadly, lethal, evil, intolerable, terrible things to be
eliminated from the world. It proves that the guy's unlucky in
that he doesn't fit the world very well. It's not the world's fault-
it's his fault.
But the man who turns up allergic to penicillin, thalidomide,
MER-29, or some other new and highly useful drug— he sues the
It's a refusal on the part of patients to acknowledge that the
act of living involves risk— and he has to accept that risk. Oh,
no! Not under the Welfare-Security philosophy! He feels he is
guaranteed success and health.
All of these factors focus in on the problem of new therapies,
new drugs— plus one more.
Back before Pasteur discovered germs, Semmelweis discovered
a 99.9% successful method of stopping childbed fever. There
was a hospital in Vienna, one half of which was run by nuns,
and the other half by doctors. The incidence of childbed fever
in the doctor's half of the hospital at times ran as high as 90%—
nine out of every ten young women who came in to have their
babies died of infection. The nuns had a far better record.
The doctors didn't observe that fact particularly; the women of
Vienna were acutely aware of it, however. ( The human tendency
to count your hits, and forget your misses— while the women ob-
served the misses a lot more actively. )
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK 115
Semmelweis, studying the situation, came to the conclusion
that the difference was that the doctors, as part of their routine,
performed autopsies on the dead women; the nuns did not. Sem-
melweis came to the completely false, crackpot notion that it was
the odor of death on the doctors* hands that transmitted the dis-
ease. It just happened that he picked, as his deodorizer, chlorine
water. It did indeed deodorize the doctor's hands; also, quite
unknown to Semmelweis, it was an extremely powerful antiseptic
—the concentration he used would kill anything.
At that time— about a century ago— it wasn't customary to wash
the hospital sheets very often, either— until Semmelweis detected
the "odor of death" there, too. "Wash 'em! And use chlorine
The death rate from childbed fever among Semmelweis* pa-
tients dropped from about 90% to 0.9%.
For this, Semmelweis was thrown out of the hospital by the
other doctors, and violently attacked and harassed by the medi-
cal profession of Europe.
Why? Because of a certain emotional factor involved.
His work— his absolutely unarguable and shocking success-
said "Doctor— healer!— you killed those young women. You
killed them with your dirty hands. They didn't just Tiappen to
die'; you killed them!"
Semmelweis was, of course, a dedicated healer; he could not
endure standing idly by, so he was very busily spreading the
word to laymen— telling them not to let a doctor examine a
woman unless he scrubbed his hands in chlorine water.
There's the old saying "What you don't know won't hurt you."
With respect to objective factors, that's obviously false. With re-
spect to emotional things, however— it's true. So long as a doctor
could hold off from his own mind the realization that it truly was
his unclean hands that did it— then he did not have the grinding
agony of regret.
Of course, the medical-mercenary type wouldn't have such a
reaction; they could be more objective, less emotional. They
never had cared particularly anyway— and Semmelweis' tech-
niques would assure them of more patients. (Except for that
damnable chlorine water; scrubbing in the stuff ruined the hands
Il6 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
and devastated the fingernails. But it might presently be found
that a dilute perfume— diluted with the usual 70% alcohol solvent
—removed the odor of death just about as effectively. )
Of course, the Philosophical Logical Ideal doctors wouldn't re-
sist Semmelweis' new idea; they wouldn't react to emotional fac-
tors like regret or remorse or guilt. And such men wouldn't be
doctors worthy of the name, either.
In summary, then, the true, dedicated doctor, by the very na-
ture of his dedication, cannot be an objective scientist; he cannot
evaluate new proposed therapies objectively because he is dedi-
cated—has a loyalty to his art. And he will have powerful emo-
tional blocks against learning such lessons as Semmelweis taught,
which show unmistakably that the doctor himself has been kill-
ing his patients through ignorance.
On top of that, the modern attitude that the patient has a right
to perfect security, puts the doctor under terrific pressure to re-
frain from any new therapy.
Now let's consider for a moment what's meant by a "quack" in
the medical field.
The usual charge is that a quack is someone who uses an im-
proper treatment, one which does not help, or actually injures the
patient, while inducing the patient to pay for this mistreatment,
and keeping the patient from going to a licensed doctor and
getting the treatment he needs. That a quack is in the business
solely to make money at the expense of suffering humanity.
Now any time A disapproves of B emotionally, he'll attrib-
ute B's actions to some generally demeaned motivation— "just for
money" being the most common, with "just for his own pleasure"
Let's be a bit objective about this business of what a quack
does. Suppose a man, calling himself Dr. Jones, treats a patient
who has a lethal disease, and uses a method that he knows for a
positive fact will not save the man's life. He charges fees, and sees
to it that the patient doesn't go to any other therapist— just gives
him some drugs that do not save him, but let him die slowly.
That set of actions fulfills exactly what the AMA accuses those
awful, nasty, wicked quacks of doing.
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK 117
It is also precisely what an AMA doctor does when he treats
a leukemia patient; he knows that the standard treatments for
leukemia do not work, do not save lives. Leukemia, treated by
AMA methods, means death.
The AMA, moreover, does everything in its power to make it
impossible for the victim to get treatment from any other thera-
pist who might be able to do better, and most certainly couldn't
be less effective.
The patient will, moreover, wind up broke, and his family in
debt— a charge constandy leveled against those wicked quacks!
—by the time he dies.
But this is not quackery, of course.
Why not? Because the doctors know they are doing their best,
with the best of intentions— which is strictly an emotional state-
How about an unlicensed non-M.D. who does his best, with the
best of intentions— despite the AMA's convictions that he must
be evil— and actually does better than the AMA's best?
Oh ... I see. That never happens, huh . . . ?
Well, it hasn't yet been proven for leukemia . . . but how about
that unlicensed non-M.D.— that charlatan, that fraud, who'd gotten
crackpot ideas from studying silk-worms and wineries, no less!—
who started treating human beings for rabies? That chemist, with
only half a brain, Louis Pasteur?
Or how about that licensed m.d. charlatan, expelled from the
hospital and the medical society— Semmelweis?
Or take a few other notorious quacks like Lister— who was most
violently attacked for his temerity in opening the abdomens of
living patients. (Ethical doctors of the time never opened the
abdomen until after the patient died.) And Ehrlich, another
chemist, who invented the concept of chemotherapy.
Every time someone outside— or even inside!— the field of medi-
cine brings up a break-through discovery, he'll be labeled a
quack. The field is too emotional.
He'll be charged with being a fraud, a charlatan out after
money, a blood-sucking leech.
Hoxsey had something that appeared to help cancer cases.
Standard Operating Procedure of the AMA is to deny it, and
Il8 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
charge the innovator with being a fraud, a charlatan, a money-
seeking leech . . .
Hoxsey sued the AMA, Dr. Morris Fishbein, their President,
and the Hearst newspapers which published the statement, for
libel. He won the case.
Whether his cure actually worked or not was never investi-
gated; the AMA flatly refused to test it.
But the question of whether Hoxsey was a charlatan, a de-
liberate fraud, was tested. He wasn't. Whether he did, in fact,
have a cure has nothing whatever to do with whether or not he
was a fraud; a fraud is someone who knowingly and deliberately
misstates facts. Hoxsey had excellent evidence to lead him to the
conclusion that his cure worked; that fact alone is complete
and final proof that he was not illy or fraudulently motivated.
Look— let's be objective. Hoxsey may have been wrong— but
the AMA doctor who treats leukemia by methods he knows will
not save the patient's life seems to me in a damn poor position to
call Hoxsey a quack. Hoxsey didn't know he couldn't save lives,
and did, in fact, have a lot of reason to believe he could. And
Hoxsey wasn't urging the passing of laws that would prevent the
victim of such a disease from even trying to get help elsewhere.
As I say— this whole business is a mass of tangled, boiling, vio-
lent emotions. Does intent count in such matters? How much
should it count? How do you know a man's real intentions? The
medical mercenary intends to make money and gain status— and
he may be the most highly skilled, highly competent surgeon in
the city. Another man may be deeply dedicated, completely
sincere . . . and unfortunately just not really bright. He lacks the
spark that makes real surgeons. So here is one man with the
"evil" intention of making money, the medical mercenary, and
another who has the best of intentions. And— should we say the
incompetent man is a better doctor?
I propose a new approach to this problem.
Let's license quacks. We'll make it wide open; anyone what-
ever, with no qualifications required save only that he be over
twenty-one, and never committed to an institution for insanity,
can apply for and get a license to set up in business as a medical
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK 119
Here's why: If a doctor diagnoses a man and tells him "The
disease you have will kill you within three months; there is noth-
ing that we can do to save you. All we can do is give you drugs
to ease your pain, and perhaps prolong your life a little," that man
is unsane if he does not seek some other therapist. And a man
does have an inalienable right to try to live; you may try to stop
him, but you'll have to lock him up to prevent his trying to find
someone who will offer him some hope.
The fact that there are conditions which can be diagnosed, but
which can not be cured by medicine today— and there always
will be, no doubt!— is the fundamental reason why there are, and
always will be quacks.
A quack is a man who thinks he can help conditions medicine
cannot help. A man like Louis Pasteur, treating the Russian vic-
tims of rabies with a new technique no doctor in Paris would
touch— treating them at the risk of a trial for murder, if they
Not all quacks are evil men. And there is a definite place for
quackery! The area where medicine is competent to diagnose,
and helpless to cure. If medical science can't help— then by all
that's honest and ethical, they should damn well acknowledge it,
step aside, and let someone else try!
Try a witch doctor, a faith healer, a numerologist— try a herb-
alist, or a chemist with a theory, or maybe a nuclear physicist.
When you have nothing to lose, and life to win— try anything!
And don't talk about money! Whenever emotions start running
high— and they always do, everywhere, in medical problems!—
the business of money charges gets thrown in as the triumphant
"That proves they're wrong! They do it for money!"
Have you taken a look at a standard AMA hospital and doctor
bills for a couple of months of cancer treatment, with death of the
patient? Talk about money! See, that proves they're just doing it
for the money, huh?
Drop that money nonsense out of the thing; it's a question-
begging argument from start to finish.
On the patient's side, he has a right to try anything he chooses;
the organized medical groups have no right to deny him the
right to try.
120 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
But there's a doctor's side, too. We're going to license these
quacks— but it will be strictly, publicly, and thoroughly under-
stood that it's a matter of "When you choose to gamble— you can't
whine if you lose your bet." The quack is absolutely immune to
suits for malpractice. Legally declared totally irresponsible for
any deaths, crippling, or disasters that may result from his treat-
This is simply putting into formal, legal and publicly stated
terms what exists in fact anytime a man goes to a quack; it is the
patient's responsibility to choose his own quack— and to take his
licking if he gets licked.
But this means that a licensed m.d., a qualified man with a
new theory, a new therapy to try out can also take out a license
as a quack. He can hang out his shingle as "Thomas R. Brown,
m.d., Licensed Quack Specializing in . . ." whatever it may be
This would give the doctor a chance to do experimental work,
and get out from under that insane business of unlimited mal-
practice suits. If the patient insists on Security— he goes only to
tried-and-true, standardized-technique licensed doctors. If he
has a disease in which the standard therapies don't work— he can
take his choice of being perfectly secure in his dying, or sticking
his neck out and taking a chance on a new therapy.
There's a third side to this system though— Society as a whole.
And Society as a whole will benefit enormously from a system of
Quackery always has existed; it exists now— and it always will
exist, for the reasons given above. Diagnosis always precedes
therapy; diagnostic techniques will always exist before thera-
peutic techniques have been able to cure the newly diagnosed
conditions. In that twilight zone, quackery exists.
Now, however, quackery is illegal— a hit-and-run business
pretty largely. No undercover operation can keep good records,
and what records it does keep aren't communicated.
Let's license the quacks . . . and make them keep extremely
careful records. They'll be the most useful research records Man-
kind has ever assembledl Evm if tbs quack himself doesn't learn
LOUIS PASTEUR, MEDICAL QUACK 121
anything, other men very well may, from studying the records.
Now, the quacks are unlicensed, and, therefore, unlimited.
(They aren't even limited to over twenty-one and no-recorded-
insanityl) Licensed, they can be limited in a number of ways—
but the ways will not include any requirement of degrees or
previous training. Put on such limitations, and the unlicensed
quacks will immediately pop up where their records won't be
available, and their activities will be unrestrained. The only re-
straint will have to do with two matters of statistics:
1. Only patients diagnosed as having diseases or conditions
which standard medical records show to be, say, seventy-five
per cent or higher lethal under known treatments will be auto-
matically free to go to a quack if they want to. If the disease or
condition is nonlethal, and has a zero cure rate— some skin dis-
eases for example— the patient can ask for and must be given a
pass to present to a licensed quack. The patient, not the doctor
must determine this— because patients who want to go to quacks
and are denied the pass will supply a group to maintain un-
licensed and unrecorded quacks. But it gives the doctor a chance
to point out to a girl with a disfiguring and incurable skin con-
dition that while a quack might cure it— he's also quite apt to kill
But . . . any quack caught treating someone who does not
have such a pass loses his license, and gets jailed.
2. The statistics on the quack's records are studied periodi-
cally. If his death rate is higher than the death rate under stand-
ard treatment— he gets shut down. We want better, not worse,
The gain to the Society as a whole is that, by such a system, a
huge number of things that might work can be explored with the
full co-operation and free permission of the self-assigned human
guinea pigs. No man has to go to a licensed quack; it's his deci-
sion to be a human guinea pig. And in the process, we can learn
a great deal about a lot of things that don't work— and thereby
eliminate duplication of that useless effort.
There's a lot of emotionalism tied up in that concept of the
human test subjects, of course. Doctors, when fulminating against
quacks, have horrid things to say about such things.
122 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
But dedicated doctors, knowing the importance and good in-
tent of what they were doing, aren't so upset when doctors in a
major New York hospital, inject live human cancer tissue into
human patients without the knowledge or consent of the pa-
That's different! That was for a good purpose, and they knew
what they were doing!
Actually, it's pretty clear, the definition of "quack" is "someone
I believe to be dangerous, evil, destructive and unprincipled."
Trouble is— the term "quack" was— in their own place and
time— violently hurled at many men we consider today among the
greatest medical heroes. Jenner— Harvey— Ross— Lister— Pasteur—
Ehrlich— Sister Kenny— even Roentgen, who didn't even try to
One very certain thing about the field of medicine: it is not,
and never will be a field of objective science. It's too deeply
dominated by emotional factors.
THE LAWS OF THINGS"
There is one area where Science and Religion become rather
completely confused. Now basically, a Religion has to do with
the nonmaterial side of Man s being; it is rooted in Faith— belief
rather than objective evidence— and deals almost entirely with
Man's emotional and moral structure. Its truths are revealed by
Prophets after introspection and revelations from God ( or Gods ) .
There's one area where Science becomes almost inextricably
entangled in Religion— that area of Science that seeks to deal with
Man's nonmaterial self, with his emotions and morality rather
than his physical self. Psychology is the study of the Psyche, or
Spirit, or Soul.
I don't like to attack any man's religion— but when a should-
be science acts on Faith in the Revelations of a Prophet without
reevaluation . . .
I suggest that the Great Prophet Freud needs some reevalua-
tion at a considerably deeper level than the minuscule modifica-
tions that are currently acceptable among psychotherapists.
Consider this: Dr. Freud did his early investigations, on
which his great theories of the universal underlying drives in all
Mankind are based, among (1) largely Jewish people in (2)
Vienna, ( 3 ) during the most extremely prudish period of Western
culture. That is, among a cultural enclave in the midst of a mid-
European city, during the midst of a very unusually prudish cul-
From this he derived as the Great Basic of all Mankind's mo-
tivations, Sex, and as the central conflict of all people, the Oedipus
Now it happens that in the traditional Jewish culture, the
mother is a powerfully dominant figure in the home— in effect,
the Jewish culture is matriarchic. And the period in which Freud's
patients were oriented was known as the Victorian Period, be-
124 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
cause of the tremendous influence that Britain's great Queen
exerted over the entire world of her time.
I cannot help wondering what great universal motivations
Freud would have found if he had studied patients among an
equally restricted group of the Polynesians of Tahiti, say. There,
there are almost no sexual inhibitions.
Freud didn't discover that a motivation other than Sex existed
until about 1918— when he discovered the Death Wish. ( He'd be-
gun getting patients who'd been through that form of hell known
as War— men to whom Sex was a less immediate problem than
The old question "Which leg of a three-legged stool is the most
important?" has a practical answer. "The one that's missing."
From the cultural peculiarities of the "Gay '90s," Freud dis-
covered the "missing leg" of Sex, and decided that that was the
One Fundamental Motivation of All Mankind Everywhere.
Wonder what he'd have discovered as the Universal Motiva-
tion of Mankind if he'd done his studies entirely among the Dobu
Islanders? Their culture holds that paranoid efforts to murder
your neighbors by black magic— "Every man a wizard!"— is the
normal way of life. They are poor, unfortunate individuals who
have become insane and actually trust other peoplel These would,
of course, have been Freud's abnormal neurotic patients there.
It seems, at first glance, that Freud's insistence on Sex in the
ultra-prudish period of the 1890s- 1900s showed great intellectual
courage, to so fly in the face of his culture.
That's somewhat open to question. Did he, actually, attack the
beliefs of his period? Or did he, rather, support them? That is, re-
member that the prudes of the time held that Sex was the Source
of All Evil and Awful things. And what Freud appeared to them
to be saying was that Sex was the cause of insanity and neurosis
—wherefore the most violent prudes could happily chortle "See!
See! We told you Sex was Evil! Now you know we were right!
The great Dr. Freud has proven that it's nasty Sex that causes
insanity, just as we said all along!"
Be that as it may, doing his research on a cultural enclave, in a
Central European city, during an exceptionally prudish period,
he ( surprise! surprise! ) found that Sex was the Universal Under-
"the laws of things 125
lying Motivation. Not until the terrors of World War I drastically
altered the cultural orientation around him did he discover
any other motivation!
As of 1890-1900, modern cultural anthropology was barely be-
ginning to get rolling. The use of statistical methods in analysis
in the living sciences had not yet been accepted. (Gregor
Mendel had been completely rejected for trying to use mathe-
matical methods— statistics— in biology only a short while before,
and his analytical method hadn't yet been fully accepted. )
Of course computer technology, logic circuit equations, and
concepts of negative feedback loops were still a half-century in
The immense dominance of European culture over all others
in the world of 1890 made a central European "know" that "lesser
breeds without the law" had weird customs, but that those weren't
really human— weren't really relevant to the Universal Laws of
Another aspect of Freud's theories that were very acceptable
in that period was that the motivational systems Freud discovered
were unique to human beings; that animals didn't have those
characteristics. (And that, of course, is appropriate to the Science
of the Psyche, because everyone knows that only Men have
Then there are immense areas of both experimental-
physiological and intellectual-analysis that have been opened
up since Freud did his work— which have not been integrated
with Freudian concepts, nor used to check the validity of the
Information Theory didn't exist in the 1890s. No one had,
then, studied the micro-structure of the nerve-message pathways
in the nervous system. The nature and limitations of Logic and
logical analysis weren't understood. ( Goedel's Proof that showed
that Logic could not solve all problems hadn't been developed. )
And, finally, as of 1900, of course, Freud's theories hadn't been
tried out in practice on actual neurotic patients all over the world
for half a century.
There are, in Freudian Beliefs, things like "Oral Eroticism."
126 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Since all motivation must be either Sex or Death Wish, and Sex,
of course, dominates, any observed behavioral phenomena must
be "eroticism" of some sort. Freud observed that people like to put
things in their mouths, to suck thumbs, soda straws, cigars, ciga-
rettes, candies, et cetera, and to show acute interest in their
mouths. Since Sex and only Sex underlies motivation, this is,
obviously and inescapably— unless you escape Freud— Oral Eroti-
Of course, Freud wasn't aware of the violent psychic disturb-
ances that result from sensory deprivation. The experiments
hadn't been made at that time. Put a man in an environment
where he can neither hear, see, feel, smell, touch, or taste any-
thing—and within hours he begins to have hallucinations, becomes
aware that his mental processes are disintegrating into uncontrol-
lable unreality and madness. Sensory mechanisms need sen-
sory inputs of some sort to fulfill their functions— and to stabilize
the normal reality-checking motivation that real human minds
Now the mouth happens to be one of Man's primary sensory
organs— and a very complex one indeed. It's the primary center
of taste— and is, in addition, an acutely sensitive tactile organ,
surpassing in that respect even the sensitivity of the fingers.
It is, also, the one and only Input to the Organism for solid
or liquid substances. Small children frequently experiment with
solid-substance inputs into the ears or nose, but usually learn
quickly and painfully that those are not input stations.
But since Freud had no knowledge of Information Theory,
or sensory deprivation experiments, and had the Great Revelation
that all men everywhere always had Sex as the One Motivation,
naturally it had to be Oral Eroticism.
Another one of Freud's Great Revelations was that there existed
a Subconscious Mind, and it was conflicts between the Subcon-
scious Mind and the Conscious Mind that led to neurotic com-
Kant, some while earlier, had used the term "Categorical Im-
perative" instead of "compulsive or repressive"; the essential
process was recognized in either case. For Kant, this "categorical
imperative" was caused "by means of a function."
THE LAWS OF THINGS I27
And Kepler, in stating the laws of planetary motion had recog-
nized that there was gravity and inertia; Newton's great advance
was to give precise mathematically defined expression to the
Functions by means of which the planetary motions were impera-
Freud repeated Kant's observations in somewhat different
wording— but without the sort of increased precision that New-
ton added to Kepler's realizations.
For some five thousand years of record preceding Freud, too,
there had been recognition of the ka, psyche, spirit, geist, soul or
whatever the local time-and-place term might be as a part of Man
that was immaterial, analogous to the mind, but was not the
same thing as mind.
Freud gave it a new name, but there was little change in the
realization that this psyche was able to exert powerful and, at
times, compulsive force over the mind of man.
Freud's greatest— and real— contribution probably was the speci-
fic, solid statement that the subconscious compulsions were gen-
uinely compulsions; that an individual could not resist them—
that it wasn't "unwillingness" or "stubbornness" or "weakness"
that caused an individual to yield to the compulsions. That the
psychotic paranoid who murdered a dozen neighbors due to his
compulsions was no more able to resist that internally-generated
pressure, than a martyr was able to choose not to be martyred by
renouncing his beliefs.
The Ego, the Id, and the Super-Ego might also be named with
somewhat older terms as the Mind (Ego) and the Conscience
(Super-Ego) while the Id is perhaps a confusion of two other
factors— the ancient instinctive wisdom of the race, and the third-
factor effect of the interaction of Mind— which is logical and
present-time based— and Conscience— which is acculturation, and
neither logical nor present-time based.
Actually, of course, large parts of Conscience-acculturation
agree one hundred per cent with large areas of the ancient racial
instincts. In such areas, naturally, the culture claims that it, and
it alone is the source of those Great Good Ideas. Where accultura-
tion and racial wisdom disagree, naturally the culture insists
128 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
that that is "nothing but evil old instincts which must be sup-
When conscience-acculturation demands the logically impos-
sible, or irrational, naturally there's a conflict between it and
Mind. (But acculturation will never acknowledge that it is
However, we're dealing here, quite obviously, with the area
of Morality— which Religion has always claimed for its own. And,
of course, with most intense emotional areas— which have, from
the findings of anthropologists, been the province of the witch-
doctor-priest for at least two hundred thousand years.
Whether you say you are working with a man's Super-Ego or
say you're treating his Soul is a distinction of verbal noises— un-
less you can define the difference in clear, functional terms. And
if you claim that psychoanalysis is a Scientific Approach, rather
than a priesdy-witch-doctor method, that claim, too, needs some
specific, functional definition.
It does appear though, that a "Scientific Approach" stemming
from the revelations provided by one man, who derived his great
basic realization of the Universal Motivation of All Mankind by
studying a cultural enclave, in a central European city during an
exceptionally prudish era, needs considerable reevaluation.
I can't help wondering what great revelations of fundamental
human emotional structure would have come from Freud if he'd
grown up among, and worked with, Dobu Islander patients. Sex
being uninhibited among the Dobu Islanders, it wouldn't have
appeared as the critical "missing leg"; whether he'd have called
their culture of mutual murder motivation a death-wish culture or
a security-seeking culture I can't decide. But on observing that
men like to use their mouths— Kipling had made that observation
before Freud!— a Dobu Island Freud would certainly not have
spoken of "Oral Eroticism." "Oral Morbidity" possibly, or perhaps
Naturally, I'm ever so much wiser than Freud on these things;
hindsight is sooooo much more perceptive than foresight. Any
high-school kid today is wiser than Aristode, too. I've got a
slightly unfair advantage consisting of two generations of world-
THE LAWS OF THINGS 129
wide efforts by anthropologists, archeologists and historians, plus
the immense amount of work done by cyberneticists, Information
Theory analysts, the space-scientists working on sensory depriva-
tion—and the statistics of what's actually happened with patients
treated with psychoanalysis during the last half-century.
My objections are not to Freud; he was a genuinely sincere and
highly important philosopher of the mind.
My objections are to the Freudians— who have the same half-
century advantages I have, and haven't adequately used them.
Freud didn't know about Information Theory and sensory depriva-
tion effects; he didn't have the data of a half-century of cultural
anthropology to use in studying out the true, universal-to-Man-
The modern Freudians do have that data.
Why don't they use it— when they also have the data from
their own statistics that the recovery rate among psychoanalytical
patients is not significantly different from the recovery rate
among untreated patients?
Statistics on the recovery rate among patients treated by which
doctors are somewhat hard to come by, of course. But the re-
ports from cultural anthropologists indicate that perhaps the witch
doctors have significantly better therapy techniques.
The greatest improvement in psychotherapy since records have
been kept seems to have come about since the adoption of a
physiological approach, thanks to learning from the Hindu herb
doctors that tranquilizer substances exist.
It is, of course, improper to attack a man's religion; with the
witch doctors, we would be dealing with the native religion.
I hope I have not, in this discussion, attacked anyone's re-
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. . ."
IVe had an opportunity to learn a little about a project now
under way at the Harvard Computer Lab; the men engaged in it
do not, probably, have the same opinions about it that I have
formed. We'll find out later whether my hunches regarding it
I have a feeling the job now started will snowball for the next
century or so— and that they have started on the most important
basic project Man has ever tackled.
They're studying the problem of teaching a computing machine
to translate English to Russian, and Russian to English.
It's my belief that, in the process, they will solve about ninety
per cent of Mankind's social, psychological, economic and po-
litical problems. The computers won't solve the problems— but
they'll force the men working on them to solve them.
Reason: You can NOT say to a computer "You know what I
mean . . ." The computer would only reply, "No. Define you.'
Define loiow.' Define T.' Define mean.' Operation-relational pro-
cesses regarding these terms not available."
All right, friend— go ahead. Define "I." Define it in terms of
function and relationship to the Universe. Define it in terms of
characteristics of process and program the steps the computer is
to take in interacting this concept "I" with the operational pro-
gram steps meant by the concept "know." Just do that one, single
little thing, just define that one pair of terms— and you'll resolve
about seventy-five per cent of all human problems.
Korzybski was a piker. He tried to teach human beings, who
have built-in automatic self-programming units. They may not be
perfect, but they work with incredible efficiency.
Try teaching a computing machine what you mean by some
nice, simple term like "food." There's a good, basic, simple idea—
an item basic to the most elementary understandings of life proc-
134 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
esses, politics, sociology, psychology and economics. This is one
that must be included, obviously.
Anthony Oettinger, one of the men working on the project,
explained part of the problem very neatly and completely by
telling of one phase of the difficulty. Suppose we take a common
English saying, and translate it into Chinese. Now if translation
were perfect, we should be able to retranslate to English and
recover the original phrase. Actually, in one instance, the retrans-
lation yields "invisible idiot/' Guess what went in originallyl It's
a perfectly understandable result; after all, something that is in-
visible, is out of sight— and an idiot is one who is out of mind. It
could equally have come out "hidden maniac' or "distant mad-
Translation cannot be done on a word basis; we dont use
words, actually, but concepts. Translating word-by-word would
be only slightly more rewarding than transliterating letter by
letter. The Russian alphabet is different from ours; that doesn't
mean that transliterating yields English. Neither does a word-for-
word substitution, save in the simplest level of statement.
The Chinese-English saying translation above indicates the real
difficulty— and one that General Semantics hasn't adequately rec-
ognized, I feel. Actually, in communicating with each other, we
seek to communicate concepts; concepts are complex structures
of many individual parts assembled in a precise relationship. If
someone asked a chemist for sugar, and the chemist delivered a
pile of carbon and two small flasks of hydrogen and oxygen—
everything necessary for sugar is present, but it's not sugar.
Let's consider "food" a moment. Presumably we are seeking to
achieve sane translations of sane human thinking from our com-
puter. Under these conditions should we teach the machine to
consider that human flesh is to be considered "food"?
Yes. A sane man must realize that his flesh is food— otherwise
he would make the mistake of swimming in shark-infested waters,
or ignore lions and other major carnivora.
Is wood "food"?
Yes; an engineer must realize that fact when he considers
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN . . . I35
constructing buildings. Otherwise he would neglect the possi-
bilities of termite damage.
Is steel "food"?
We must so instruct the computer; otherwise it could not
translate "We must have steel scrap to feed our hungry furnaces."
Very well, gentlemen, what do you mean when you consider
the concepts in "foods," "feed," and "eat"? Define your terms!
The sociologists and psychologists have long maintained that
mathematical methods are not applicable to human problems. Not
until the terms in which human problems are discussed have been
defined operationally, certainly.
Teaching a computing machine, a machine that will invariably
do precisely, but only, what you did-in-fact instruct it to do will be
a most humbling task. In the course of doing that job, I foresee
the collapse of every human philosophy, the harsh winnowing
of every human falsity, every slightest quibble, self-justification,
When a man is seeking to induce another man to agree with
him, to learn his ideas, he can hold "he is stubborn; he refuses
to understand me because he hates me." Or "He is too stupid to
When a man seeks to teach a computer . . .
Computers are not stubborn. If it is stupid, it is the failure of
the man to perfect his handiwork, and the failure reflects ines-
capably to its source in Man. If it acts in a foggy, confused man-
ner—Man made the mistake, and he must correct it. It's his
mistake; responsibility cannot be assigned elsewhere.
Man, in trying to teach his tender and precious beliefs to a
computing machine, is inviting the most appallingly frank and
inescapable criticism conceivable. The computing machines
won't solve human problems for us— but they'll force men to a
degree of rigid self-honesty and humility that never existed be-
I can imagine some philospher, some psychologist, or some
physicist coming spluttering to the computer lab, demanding that
the nonsensical answers so blatantly in disregard of the facts-
as-he-believes them be corrected. "Out of the way; let someone
136 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
who knows something about this field teach this machine a few
Three weeks later, a haggard and vastly humbled man would
come out, his fine structure of beliefs in tatters— and possessed
of a realization of his own need to learn a few real realities.
I have heard psychologists use the term "ego," the terms "id"
and "identity." IVe looked, with some interest, in an Encyclopedia
of Psychology; there is no entry under any one of those terms, no
effort, even, to define them.
Have you ever sought a definition of "distance" as used in
physics? It's one of the three fundamentals of the CGS system—
and has no definition whatever. Define your terms, the com-
puter relentlessly demands. The mathematician has no definition
for "quantity" or "distance" either. Cantor has proved mathe-
matically that any line segment has as many points— aleph null-
as any other line, however long or short, or as any plane. Then
define what you mean by "greater than" or "less than"! Until
you do, the whole structure rests on "You know what I mean . . ."
The computer does not "know what you mean." Define it!
A while back I ran a faulty "syllogism" going, essentially,
"Biology holds no organism can five in a medium of its own
products. Communism holds a man has a right to what he pro-
duces. Therefore, Communism won't work." It was thrown in as
a deliberate inducement to thinking and questioning of terms.
Most of those who answered— some quite angrily, incidentally!—
held that the flaw lay in the misuse of the terms "products" and
There's a flaw all right— but that's not it. The computer would
have spotted it immediately; only we humans have difficulty in
The products of an organism are quite artificially divided into
"products" and "by-products" and "waste products." As industry
long since learned, a waste product is something we haven't
learned a use for yet, and a by-product is a misleading term.
What is the product of Street & Smith Publications, Incorporated,
for instance? Street & Smith, like the National Biscuit Company,
assembles materials, packages them, and distributes them. Rum-
'YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN . . . 137
ford Press, which prints this magazine, like the American Can
Company, or Container Corporation, makes packages.
You hold in your hand a physical package, packed with word-
structured concepts. You buy a tiling of paper, ink, and metal and
glue— just as you buy a thing of glass, metal and plastic when
you buy a radio tube. In each case, the object is merely a package-
structure for the function which you really desire.
Any organism will smother in any of its own products if pre-
sent in excess; a waste product is one present either in excess
of the usable amount, or one which is not usable.
Any organism— including the organism known as a "state" or
"nation"— will smother in an excess of its own ill-regulated and
ill-distributed products. The basic biological law is perfectly ap-
plicable to a state, or a society.
The flaw in the false syllogism is the one the computer would
have spotted immediately.
"Define the term right'!"
This is the distributive term in the syllogism, and is so unde-
fined as to be meaningless. The falsity of the syllogism is equiva-
lent to that in "All men are human beings. Some human beings
are mortal. Therefore all men are mortal." The flaw in that syl-
logism is the faulty distributive term in the second statement.
But when it comes to "right," human beings are very, very skit-
tish indeed. They're too apt to find that some of their pet beliefs
and personal preferences will be ruled out if they accept any hard,
clean-cut definition of "right."
Since a machine has no rights to begin with, no beliefs, preju-
dices, preferences or foibles, it will most unkindly and uncom-
promisingly refuse to operate at all until you define what you
mean by "right."
I have a deep conviction that a vastly humbled and chastened
—but vastly improved!— humanity will result from the effort to
teach a machine what Man believes.
The terribly tough part about it is that to do it, Man will, for
the first time, have to find out exactly what he does believe— and
make coherent, integrated sense of it!
LIMITATION ON LOGIC
From the strong response in letters received after the recent
editorial on logic, I gather you like questioning the whole sub-
ject. Obviously, I do too. So . . . let's try another approach, and
see if we can't find something somewhat different from either
the A or non-A business.
Let's define logic as "one of the methods of rational thinking."
Conventionally, "logical" and "rational" have been considered
synonymous; evidently that's stretching the meaning of logic quite
a bit, or else using an exceedingly peculiar definition that's based
on the individual's viewpoint on the matter at a particular time
and/or place. I suggest that there are several other methods of
rational thinking, and that neither Aristotelian nor non-A is ade-
quate—that, in other words, logic is necessary but not sufficient.
You can get some most peculiar effects from considering data
that is true, and nothing but the truth. For instance, it is perfectly
true that I habitually come from my suburban home into New
York City floating about four feet off the ground. I don't come
down to Earth— and that's a true statement.
The fact that there's a train between me and the ground is,
however, the rest of the truth. Frequently the truth and nothing
but the truth is a particularly vicious kind of He, because it can
not be disproven or attacked in any way. I could, for instance,
get twenty or thirty witnesses to confirm my statement that I came
into New York without once touching Earth, and no witness
could be found who could testify otherwise.
Logic has been based on the use of high-probability data;
actually, the concept "true" and "false" can be interpreted as
"probability of truth equals 1.000" and "probability of truth equals
zero." It's mighty easy to evaluate data when the data can be
classified in that nice, easy, put-up-or-shut-up manner. A relay is
either open or closed— provided the contacts aren't dirty, and
LIMITATION ON LOGIC 139
haven't welded together. A man is either alive or dead— until we
find out how to suspend animation. A star either is visible out
there in space, or it isn't— unless it's one of an eclipsing binary
The unfortunate fact of the Universe is that, as Information
Theory shows, the real physical Universe contains noise, and
always will contain noise. There is no statement of Probability
1.000, and no statement of Probability Zero— save in the non-
physical system of theoretical discussion.
The interesting and necessary conclusion from that fact is that
mathematics, like Euclidean geometry, does not apply to the
real Universe; mathematics is a noise-free system, and therefore
cannot be congruent with the real, noise-containing Universe. And
there cannot ever be any exact science that is congruent with
the real Universe. No computing machine can ever be built which
is both constructed of real physical components, and is congruent
with the system of mathematics; the machine can only be tan-
gential to the field of mathematics, because it, being physical,
must contain noise, while the system of mathematics does not.
One consequence of that is that any real physical computer
will, inevitably, have breakdowns. The observed fact is that they
Now I have done a great deal of my thinking on the basis of
inadequate data, inaccurate data, using as data the fact that there
was a lack-of-data, and that the data-is-inadequate. In the field of
logic, which hs been confined to high-probability data, that
sounds like a prescription for "How to think in a sloppy and im-
proper manner." It isn't. But it will get you into some highly frus-
trating arguments, since the method of thinking involved is not
Consider this: An ordinary silk thread cannot support the
weight of an automobile. This is an easily demonstrated fact. I can
prove, then, that this specific thread, #1, cannot do it. Neither
can thread #2, which I can test and prove inadequate. Neither
can thread #3, which likewise fails under test. Nor thread #4,
#5, #6, . . . #n. You see, I have proven that there is not one
single bit of evidence which you can show me that silk thread
will support an automobile. I can break down every single piece
140 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
of evidence you bring up. Not one of those one hundred thousand
threads you brought up as evidence that silk could support an
automobile would actually stand up on examination, and that
proves that you cannot lift an automobile with a silk cable.
I suggest that, in addition to the standard, conventional logical
argument, there is also a quite different thing— the gestalt argu-
ment. The argument in which there is not one single argument
of any useful strength— but in which there are many, many lines
of argument which, as a gestalt, are more powerful than any
single argument could be!
This is argument based on barely significant data, improbable
data, inaccurate or inadequate data— which is, none the less, a
completely sound argument. In terms of probability, it can be
put this way:
Suppose there are ten steps, a sequence of ten dependent events.
Each individual step has a probability of 0.1. We can represent
this as "if A, then (0.1 B):: if B, then (0.1 C):: if . . ." et cetera.
Now in such an event sequence of ten steps, the product
probability of the tenth step will be 10 ~ 10 — one chance in ten bil-
The above argument is a logical argument— i.e., a one-line-
of-development argument. But let's consider a gestalt argument
on the same subject.
It's true that the probabilities are such that "if A, 0.1B" applies
on one line of development. But it happens that there is also
"if A, then (0.05A')" and also "if A, then (0.08 A") and "if A'
or A", then (0.5B)" applies. And in addition, there are several
other sequences involving A-to-A'-A"-to-B and a lot of other
routes. In addition, there are various crossovers from B to side-
chains that also lead to C. In fact, careful investigation reveals
that there are, actually, ten trillion different possible lines down
the whole ten-event sequence, no one of them having a proba-
bility higher than io _10 th— but the summated probability pro-
ducts turn out to have a value of 0.99!
Now a chain is as strong as its weakest link— because it's a
single-line development. Logic operates on that principle, and a
logical argument can be completely shattered by breaking any
one link in the sequence.
LIMITATION ON LOGIC 141
But a cable doesn't have links; breaking any one strand does
not break the cable. And a gestalt argument doesn't depend on
any single link, or any single line of development. Like the
fibrous construction so typical of the strengtii of living things,
each line of development is independent, but interactive; it will
not shatter under stress, but is capable of elasticity. It can't be
handled very easily by a mathematical process, because it's a
noise-filled system; it's so interactive that breaking one line of
development interacts to put more stress on the other lines of
development. Many times blocking of one fine of development
simply increases the probability of another, while at other times,
blocking one decreases adjoining and subsequent probabilities.
Gestalt argument methods simply haven't been formulated, and
can't, at present, be described in detail. We're stuck with that.
But we must, also, recognize that logic is the truth, and nothing
but the truth— but a lie, if we don't recognize that it is not the
In addition to gestalt arguments based on multiple-channel
low-probability developments, there is a third method of rational
thinking that has not been adequately formulated, but evidently
does exist; let's call it analogic. Since I can't formulate either
gestalt rationality, nor analogic rationality, I can't derive a sharp
distinction between them, and show where the boundaries are
such that they do not overlap. But that there are two distinct
nonlogical rationalities I think can be shown.
When aeronautical engineers work with models in wind tun-
nels they have to do some very tricky mathematics, based on
some rather largely empirical formulas called the Laws of Models.
If you build a full-size fuselage and wing system having exactly
the form of the model that tested successfully— you'll have a Grade
A flop. The engineers are forced, by practical considerations, to
experiment with models— which are analogous to the full-scale
ship they want to build, but not similar to it. The full-scale ship
will not work right if its form is similar in the sense the term
"similar" is used in geometry— having the same angles and length-
In making the transformation of dimension ratios, the engineer
is using analogic; he is reasoning by analogy, in one of the very
142 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
few areas where analogical reasoning has been sufficiently formu-
lated to be acceptable.
Any logician will throw out as not legitimate logic an effort
to use reasoning by analogy; it has been held for many years that
analogic reasoning is not logical reasoning. But analogic is ra-
tional! The Navy researchers towing test hulls in the Navy's tow
tank depend on the rationality of analogic. In actual everyday
living and thinking we must depend on analogic— yet we cannot
defend our analogic in debate because there has never been an
adequate formulation of the Laws of Analogic. This doesn't mean
that no such laws exist; it simply means that we haven't found
Yet all science is, actually, based on the use of gestalt rationality
and analogic rationality, far more than on logic, when the matter
is investigated. Logic is the result finally achieved by the pre-
liminary use of analogic and gestalt thinking.
Cosmologists are studying turbulence in a small laboratory pool
of water in an effort to better understand the interactions of spiral
nebulae. They find that galaxies collide, sometimes, and show
viscous characteristics. How can that be? If we could formulate
analogic, we could study better the pool of water, the swirl of
gas in a near-vacuum, the eddy-in-space that is an atom.
Stellar mechanics has been greatly helped by the study of a
large pool of mercury metal in a strong magnetic field. But if we
just knew the Laws of Analogic, we could do a lot better.
Logic is only one of the methods of rational thinking!
AN ORIGINAL POINT OF VIEW
THE DEMEANED VIEWPOINT
It is terribly hard to convince a man he's wrong, under the best
of circumstances. But it's even harder to convince him thoroughly
that he's wrong— when he isn't. Things like the old folk-super-
stition, anciently held by the peasants of Europe, that, if you
get a bad cut, putting a few spider webs over it will stop the
bleeding. It's terribly hard to convince them that that's a silly
It just happens that the alien protein of spider silk is both
highly reactive— that's part of why it's sticky— and highly alien; it
causes the blood platelletes to shatter and cause clotting almost
instantly. The strong network of spider-silk threads then form an
excellent framework for the clot to establish itself on. A freshly
made spider web is usually quite clean, and is more reactive than
an old one. Works much better than the kind of highly non-sterile
cloths a peasant is apt to have around.
It is, by the nature of things, the inevitable fate of any great
leader in thought to have a horrible time getting his ideas over to
his fellow man. He's a great leader because he has brand-new
and important thoughts— thoughts that are highly disturbing, too,
since they mean the abandonment of older, less effective ideas,
that have long been cherished. The inevitable consequence of
that situation is that every great leader blows his top every so of-
ten about the asininity of Mankind, the stupidity, recalcitrance,
and general no-goodness of thick-witted, non-thinking, stubborn
Man. Galileo's original papers are, I understand, marvels of vitu-
perative language, much of it unprintable in any modern book.
Every great leader has had excellent reason to fulminate about
the recalcitrance and stupidity of Man— on how Man rejects stub-
bornly those things that are wise and good and sensible, clinging
leechlike to his pet superstitions, his pet emotional responses,
and his beloved— and stupid— superstitions.
In the Eastern tradition, the Great Thinker simply retires into
I46 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
himself, thinks his own great thoughts, and lets those who want
to take the trouble to learn come to him. The Western tradition
puts the Great Man on the spot; if you're so darned smart, let's
see you do something useful with your ideas! And the first useful
thing you can do is teach me. If you can't do anything useful with
your ideas— why should I supply you with useful food, clothing
and shelter? Why should I spend my useful-to-me time listen-
ing to you?
This, too, has caused more than one of the West's Great Think-
ers to blow his stack on the subject of "gross materialism." I sus-
pect a certain undercurrent of resentment that the world wouldn't
give him the gross material to eat that he found necessary.
Now perhaps it would be worth while to review this situation,
and see whether the indictments of Mankind's stupidity, recalci-
trance, et cetera, are justified. The West's brutally ruthless tend-
ency to make Gerald Genius get in and pitch for his living—
to make his wonderful ideas useful— has unquestionably been
exceedingly hard on the dispositions of many great, and poten-
tially great men. It's distracted them, and forced them to spend
time earning a living that they would prefer to have spent work-
ing out their great ideas. It's certainly been a handicap to
But . . . well, maybe it has been worth while, at that. The East
tried it the other way; it may well be that they achieved some
mighty spiritual triumphs— but that's going to be hard to deter-
mine in another couple of centuries, since the highly teachable
Western concepts are rapidly flooding over and submerging the
original Eastern concepts. (The Western concepts are more teach-
able, because about ninety per cent of the time of a Western gen-
ius had to be devoted to sweating out some way of getting his
idea across. The result was that the great talents of first-order
geniuses were channeled into developing teaching mediods. It
was darned hard on the geniuses— but the Race of Man had found
a way to harness its greatest thinkers to the benefit of all! )
But I have a feeling that the result has also had its bad as-
pects; the Teachers have been teaching under violent protest.
They've been teaching, all right, but with the boiling, colossal
anger and resentment of truly tremendous personalities— and
THE DEMEANED VIEWPOINT I47
a lot of that angry resentment leaks through, too. The essence
of its message is "Man is a thick-skulled, thick-witted, fumble-
brained dope, who will learn nothing unless it is driven into his
stubborn noggin with a bludgeon! And if he isn't bludgeoned into
learning, he'd remain a stupid clod forever!"
These are the attitudes of a frustrated and angry genius, a
Galileo who was far ahead of his time, a Copernicus, Newton, or
a Plato's attitude. Their ideas were obvious to them— but they
were geniuses, men of abnormal power and stature. Is it appro-
priate to condemn Mankind for not being made up entirely
of top-level geniuses?
Naturally, the genius doesn't want to be lonely— he wants un-
derstanding friends. Sorry; the penalty of being out in front
of the crowd is that there is no crowd with you.
Actually, the genius probably doesn't want to be a leader; he is
simply trying to be what his nature makes him— and it makes him
lonely because his nature is unusual.
Well— "A poor workman quarrels with his tools." If the genius
wants to work with Mankind, he might, perhaps, do so more ef-
ficiently if he got over blowing his stack at their stupidity, and
tried taking the viewpoint he so violently demeans— that they are
not stupid. That they have a great, and very ancient wisdom. That
the flash of genius can be flashing in the wrong direction. Hitler
was undoubtedly a genius; so was Ghengis Khan and many an-
other of Mankind's great geniuses-in-the-wrong-direction.
The trouble is that the great men have transmitted not only
their very real and very great wisdom to the culture— they've also
transmitted their anger at Man.
Since geniuses suffer most intolerably from Mankind's intolerance
of new ideas, the culture has a great schism in its thinking; it
insists that we must be tolerant— and is intolerant. Possibly things
would work better if we acknowledged that Intolerance is a great,
useful, and necessary thing— properly used. It's worth noting that
three billion years of evolution has produced a human organism
that is so intolerant that you can't tolerate a skin-graft from any
individual . . . unless you happen to be a one-egg twin, in which
I48 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
case you can tolerate a skin-graft from your genetically identical
Three billion years of evolution doesn't make nonsense; why is
intolerance a good and necessary thing? I don't know . . . but
I've a strong hunch we'd do a lot better with controlling intoler-
ance if we first found out what it was meant to do, and how it was
meant to be used. Most communities feel that it is wrong to toler-
ate a thief, pervert, or a sadistic killer. Let's try the demeaned
viewpoint that Intolerance is a sound, necessary, and valuable
function— in its proper place.
When the United States tried the experiment of Prohibition,
it held "There is no place for a liquor seller." Since people do
want liquors, there obviously is a place for liquor sellers. Denying
this fact pushed the liquor seller underground, where he oper-
ated without thoughtful control. The result was very bad liquor,
poisonous liquor, and uncontrolled distribution of liquor. Fortu-
nately alcohol is one of the best antiseptics, so bacterial contami-
nation of the liquor due to dirty handling didn't add to Man-
kind's woes. Just imagine what would have happened if it had
So long as we insist "There is no place for Intolerance in human
thinking!" we are going to have Bootleg Intolerance— uncontrolled
distribution, badly organized intolerance, poisonous intolerance.
I have a hunch that if we tried that demeaned viewpoint, we
might accept that Intolerance is a fine and necessary thing— and
wind up with a lot less, much more sanely distributed.
Of course, the powerful and sweeping condemnation of In-
tolerance that is standard in our culture is an excellent example
of a type of thinking that our culture sweepingly condemns—
thinking in terms of categories and sweeping generalizations. In-
asmuch as the culture itself teaches that we should think in those
terms, and does so by example, while teaching that we should
not do so in terms of preachments, I'm a little confused as to
what the culture does believe. The culture preaches that you
should not think in sweeping generalities— but the culture does
think in precisely that manner. It's a "Don't do what I do; do
what I say!" problem.
Possibly thinking in generalizations is another of those de-
THE DEMEANED VIEWPOINT I49
meaned and suppressed concepts that need to be brought out of
the Bootleg class. Since mankind does, and has for a long, long
time thought in those terms, and has, somehow, managed to sur-
vive, maybe there is a modicum of validity to it that needs to be
found. You cant get a man to give up an idea when it's sound
and valid; you've got to find the area of its validity, acknowledge
it belongs there— and then he'll be able to agree there are places
it doesn't belong. But saying it doesn't belong anywhere, under
any circumstances, doesn't get you far. So long as you insist on
that attitude, you can't regulate it, channel it, or apply it where it
Let's try taking the demeaned viewpoint; assume that thinking in
categorical terms is valid, and see how it could be used.
1. Juvenile delinquents tend to grow up and become crim-
"Why, that's no way to judge a manl I have a neighbor who
was a juvenile delinquent, arrested seven times, and almost sent
to reform school. But he's a fine man— an engineer with a big job
in an important construction company. You're thinking in cate-
gories, and you know that's not sound."
2. Individuals who have no fixed address, no family, and no
fixed associations in any business tend to be untrustworthy.
"That's nonsense! I know a man who's a business organization
consultant. He's a bachelor, and he has no fixed address, and
naturally, in his work, changes from one business association to
another rapidly. That doesn't mean a thing; it's just sloppy think-
3. Individuals who carry concealed guns are usually open to
"Oh . . . nonsense! I suppose you'd say that a detective was
a crook because he carries a concealed gun!"
4. There is a tendency for social deviants such as criminals to
take to flashy and extreme styles of dress.
"That would make most of the teen-agers I know criminals!
You can't judge a man's character by his clothes, and you know
5. This individual was a juvenile delinquent; he has no family,
150 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
no fixed address, no business associations, is carrying a con-
cealed gun, and is flashily dressed. I suspect he may be a pro-
fessional criminal, and will take precautionary measures on that
Perhaps the major trouble with the use of thinking-in-categories
is that most people do too little of it— they don't use enough cate-
gories. Senator McCarthy evidently feels that one-time interest in
a Communist-associated organization is adequate proof that a
man is untrustworthy— though it happens that his other category-
associations include twenty or thirty conservative political, eco-
nomic and religious organizations. It isn't that categorical think-
ing is itself wrong— but that, like any good thing, it can be used
If you have a piece of glass, and put a streak of lacquer on it
that absorbs ten per cent of the transmitted light, you can't blacken
it with that. But if you put thirty such streaks across the glass, and
they all intersect at one point ... it won't be black, of course, but
it'll be awful darned dark looking.
Maybe the human race would get along a bit better if it didn't
try to totally suppress things that Man, over the megayears, has
learned the hard way— by evolution. Not all animals with big
teeth are carnivores. Not all animals with claws are carnivores.
Not all big animals are carnivores. But if you enter a region that is
totally strange to you, and you see a large animal, with large
pointed teeth, that has claws rather than hoofs, and does not have
horns— you have no logical data, of course, about the nature of this
individual, it's just pure suspicion, but you're rather apt to live
longer if you suspect it of being a hunting carnivore.
On the other hand, as Couvier, the great Zoologist pointed out,
the traditional Devil is obviously herbiverous; he has horns and
A MATTER OF DEGREE
There has been very little study of the relationships between in-
dividuals, and the group generated by the interactions of those
individuals— either at the level of purely mechanical units such
as relays in a computer, or human beings in a culture. The intro-
duction of the great electronic computers, and of ever more com-
plex systems, and systems-of-systems, has led to a beginning of
the study of systems-as-such.
The most pressing aspect of systems-problems has been the
obviously high-priority one of systems failures. If we have ten
thousand individual units each having a fifty per cent reliability
in a one-thousand-hour run, how long can we expect the system,
as a whole, to operate before failure, assuming the ten thousand
units are connected in series? Answer: About six minutes.
Systems don't behave in quite as simple a way, however, when
we have multiple-series-parallel connections, with crossover
switching for substitution or bridging around defective units, plus
feedback for internal self-checking, plus dynamic homeostasis
systems, and a few of the other simpler types of arrangements
the systems engineers have introduced for improved reliability.
The boys in the drafting rooms are beginning to consult the
biologists, and the neurologists are starting to look up from com-
puter journals with a sudden realization of the order of, "Sooooo—
so that's why the third ganglion of . . . hm-m-m . . ." Living or-
ganisms have been evolving solutions— purely pragmatic, but ex-
tremely competent after three to four billion years of field test-
ing—to systems reliability problems too, of course. Negative and
positive feedback systems— telemetering— servomechanisms— am-
plifier systems— miniaturization to make a miniaturization engi-
neer tear his hair— it's all been there for a billion years or so.
Most of the naturally evolved systems are so darned highly
evolved that human engineering can t figure out what in blazes
the thing's built that way for. Usually die miniaturization tech-
152 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
nique has been carried down to a sub-molecular level, which
makes it just a bit difficult for the engineer to trace out the cir-
cuits, even if he knew what the circuits were doing.
On the other extreme, the humanic fields are stopped just as
completely because the structures they are studying are equally
complex, and so huge that a man's-eye-view makes it as difficult
to see the shape of the whole system-of-systems involved in a
culture, as it is for a man to see the shape of die Earth. The tools
for expressing the problem, moreover, are the inherently inade-
quate tools developed before the existence of the problem was
recognized— language that's based on linear logic. Modern lan-
guages and thinking-systems work like a chain of links, and are
inherently unsuitable for expression of a system-of-systems diat
works like a rope. Our formal method of discussion denies the
use of analogical thinking, and refuses to consider that ten con-
current items, each having a truth-and-relevancy probability of
fifty per cent, can constitute high-probability evidence. After all,
logically each one of them can be shown to be too untrustworthy
The social scientists— and in that group I include psychologists,
psychotherapists, sociologists, anthropologists, linguistics special-
ists, and historians— are struggling with tools inadequate to their
task, and struggling with the fact that the new tools can't be in-
vented so long as the Rules of Evidence remain unmodified.
Being a science-fiction editor, I can speculate; anyone inter-
ested is invited to speculate along with me, in the full realization
that no formally acceptable evidence can be educed to establish
the validity of the speculations. This is reasoning by analogy,
which every one knows is of no value in a truly logical discussion.
I suggest that in two populations, having a normal distribution
of characteristic Alpha, such that population A has the peak of
the distribution curve as little as 0.1% off the peak of that
characteristic for population B, may, as a system, differ in kind,
not merely in degree. That Population A, in other words, may by
its interactions, produce a system of type X, while population B,
in its interactions, solely because of that 0.1% difference, may
produce a different kind of system, type Y.
A MATTER OF DEGREE 153
If this proposition can be validated, that would imply that very
minor shifts in the peak of a distribution curve could produce
huge differences in the nature of the resultant culture.
The speculation is based on the following analogical reasoning:
a human population, in its interactions, is a very complex system
of information relay units. The "grapevine" communication sys-
tem is a tremendously powerful force in shaping the reaction of
any population— and grapevine communication involves multiple-
parallel information relaying, with an almost indescribably
complex system of feedbacks, cross-checkings, shunts, filtering
systems, distorting forces, damping forces, and what not. An in-
dividual unit in the interacting complex may have a personal bias
that causes him to block passage of information of type 1, while
strongly amplifying and reinforcing information of type 2. For
information of type 1 he acts as a damping filter; for type 2 he's
a resonant amplifier.
Due to his interconnections, with type 2 information, he'll ex-
cite (transmit to) twenty contacts, and reinforce the input in-
formation strongly in transmitting it. Perhaps for type 3, or type
17 information, he's an inverter-amplifier— he actively denies and
suppresses any such information. He will spend time and effort
seeking out individuals who have the information, and seeking to
destroy their belief in its validity. Other individuals may or-
ganize to establish blocks in the system seeking to make the
entire system non-conductive for information of a specific type.
In our current culture, information on sex and various other sub-
jects is actively blocked by organized groups, for example.
All in all, the complex interactions of human individuals in a
culture constitutes an enormously complex information filtering
and relaying system, with both positive and negative feedback
at all stages, complex shunts around blocks, and altogether con-
stituting an unanalyzably involved system.
However some of the general characteristics of such very com-
plex systems have been solved in a quite different area— in the
field of nucleonics!
A standard nuclear reactor represents a complex population of
different components, having different characteristics with re-
spect to two critical phenomena; neutrons and fission reactions.
154 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Present in a nuclear reactor there will be U-235, U-238, a moder-
ator such as graphite or heavy water, and various impurities,
plus control rods, which are simply controllable impurities hav-
ing neutron-absorbing characteristics.
If a neutron reaches a U-235 nucleus, it normally causes fission;
the U-235 nucleus can, for our purposes, be considered a
neutron-amplifier, since it gives off 2-plus neutrons for each neu-
tron absorbed. All the other substances present are neutron-
absorbers, tending to damp out the neutron-signals released by
the U-235 neutron-amplifiers. Some neutrons will be lost by es-
cape through the boundaries of the reactor.
If the net gain due to the U-235 "neutron amplifiers" is exactly
equal to the total loss of neutrons to all other components, the
intensity of the nuclear reaction will be constant at whatever
level it happens to be. The overall situation is, under this con-
dition, that, on the average, the birth rate of neutrons in the sys-
tem equals exactly the death rate, so that the neutron popula-
tion is constant. The net neutron reproduction constant is, then,
1.000000. This neutron reproduction rate is referred to as the
k-factor of the reactor.
However, if the k-factor is 1.0000001, each succeeding gen-
eration of neutrons is slightly more numerous; the neutron popu-
lation is rising, and the level of activity of the reactor going up.
In a reactor, the time per generation of neutrons is exceedingly
short; the rate of rise of activity will be decidedly noticeable,
even with so minute an excess over 1.000. . . .
On the inverse side, if k = 0.9999999 . . . , the rate of reaction
is falling, the system is being damped, and will eventually settle
down to zero reaction.
In such a system then, if k departs from exactly 1.000 ... by
even a minute degree, the system, as a whole, heads either for
zero, or infinity. In the atomic bomb, we have a nuclear reactor
with a high k factor, and the system heads for an infinite rate of
reaction at a spectacularly high rate. Yet the bomb is perfectly
safe and stable until triggered, because the system has been so
designed that, until triggered, the k factor is held below 1.0000,
and the reaction rate is, therefore, practically zero.
Now herein lies the peculiarity of this type of system-reaction;
A MATTER OF DEGREE 155
a minute difference in degree— the k-factor— produces, because of
the chain interaction system, a difference of kind. If k is less than
1.0000, the reactor does not react; if k exceeds 1.0000, the reactor
does react. A tiny difference of degree becomes, in a complexly
interacting system of this type, an Aristotelian difference of Yes
In a nuclear reactor, the k-factor is controlled usually by in-
serting or withdrawing the neutron-absorbing material of the con-
trol rods. The reactor system, as a whole, is highly sensitive to
very small changes in the amount of neutron-absorbing material
present; a little too much neutron-absorption, and the nuclear
reaction damps out completely. A little too little . . . and things
get frantic rather suddenly; the safety rods drive home, alarm
bells sound off, various automatic damping devices shut down
everything, and start yelling for somebody to find out what in
blazes went wrong.
But any human culture is a complexly interacting group. There
are individuals who will amplify and transmit certain classes of
information— and others who damp it out.
Who wants to bet that a very slight shift in the peak of the
population's distribution curve can't make the whole system
suddenly become highly reactive to a type of idea that, thereto-
fore, it was totally unreactive to?
Just a few less idea-dampers, or a few more idea-amplifiers—
and the system may "go critical" with respect to that idea.
Sure— it's just a matter of degree, not of kind, at the level of
But it's a matter of kind at the level of system response!
ON THE SELECTIVE BREEDING
OF HUMAN BEINGS
The current estimates of astrophysicists indicate that our local
galaxy is something like 300,000 light-years in circumference. The
solar system is moving through space— in a great orbit about the
galactic center— at about a dozen miles a second. Now obviously
that sort of snail-pace crawl is never going to get us anywhere in
transgalactic, or circumgalactic travel.
Well ... it won't in one man's lifetime— or even in the lifetime
of Herr Hider's boasted 1,000-year Reich. (Even if it had come
However, astrophysicists also estimate that the Solar System is
now on about its twenty-fifth swing around the galactic center.
After all, five billion years isn't anything too overwhelming to a
normal, main-sequence star, nicely stabilized in the G-range of
spectrum types. Just because 200,000,000 years seems rather long
to us— well, there are different time-scales to apply to different
phenomena. Present theories suggest our Sun should be good for
another two hundred fifty swings around the galaxy before reach-
ing old age.
What is, and is-not possible or practicable many times depends
on the time-scale imposed; a dozen miles a second is an "impos-
sible" speed for circumnavigating the entire galaxy, is it?
I've had a good many arguments on the subject of selective
breeding of human beings— not on the subject of whether or not
it should be done, or is ethical, but on whether or not it can be
done at all. The essential argument against the possibility is in
essence: "You can't eliminate recessive characteristics! They'll
hide in the germ-plasm where you can't tell they're there, and
crop out again one thousand— two tiiousand— five thousand years
later. You'll never be able to get rid of a characteristic you've de-
cided against! No human plan has ever lasted even one thousand
years, let alone five thousand!"
ON THE SELECTIVE BREEDING OF HUMAN BEINGS 157
In other words, the argument is that the rate of advance is im-
possibly slow with respect to the distance to be covered.
And that simply suggests that the wrong time scale is being
Fd like to suggest to the attention of geneticists and animal
breeders in general, some consideration of the problem of selec-
tive breeding of human beings— with a time scale of the order
appropriate to evolutionary phenomena. Say let's consider what
can be done in 50 kiloyears or so, by the application of extremely
harsh culling of the rejected types.
Properly, we should talk in terms of kilogenerations rather than
kiloyears; after all, it's the number of generations that counts—
not the time-span involved. Modern human racial types tend
toward a twenty-five-year generation, but the most primitive hu-
man types still surviving tend toward a ten- to fifteen-year gen-
eration; the females start producing young at eleven to twelve
years of age, and average something approaching one per year
for another twelve years or so. ( Most of the young die, of course,
in infancy— but the rate of production is high.) In the earliest
protohuman groups, we can assume a generation was shorter, and
some ten generations could be packed into a century.
Anthropologists seem to feel that human tribes have existed
for a minimum of 250,000 years; we can say that's a minimum of
ten thousand generations, and probably somewhat nearer eight
Now recessive characteristics that don't manifest themselves in
a span of one thousand generations must be really quite recessive
—recessive enough that we can be quite unperturbed by their
phenomenally rare appearance. Albinos exist, and varicolored
skin appears occasionally— a sort of "pinto" human being— but we
don't have to disturb ourselves greatly about those unimportant
Then any selective breeding system that could maintain a pro-
gram of selection for a period of one thousand generations, not
one thousand years, would have some real effect. Moreover, if the
selective mechanism were utterly ruthless, savagely harsh, and
culled so hard and tight as to destroy sixty per cent of the young
produced each generation— a level of ruthless selectivity no mod-
158 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
ern human group would countenance for a moment!— consider-
able effect could be produced in selective breeding of human
I propose to show that precisely such a selective breeding sys-
tem did in fact— and still does— operate. I want, first, to make it
absolutely clear that I am NOT making any moral-ethical judg-
ments whatever. It is a fact that wolves produce a selective breed-
ing effect on deer herds; this is readily observed, without any
need for moral judgment as to whether they should or should
not do so.
In the same purely observational sense, I want to show that
human beings have been selectively bred by a mechanism that
does have the requisite long time-span effect to make one thou-
sand years like a day in its sight— one thousand years or one
There are two things that set Man apart from the animals. (Ob-
servable things, that is! The question of soul we'll have to skip
because we can't observe it.) One: Man has the ability to use
symbolic abstractions. (A certain few animals have this ability to
some slight degree.) Two: Man has the ability to override his
instinctive behavior patterns by intellectual-training ideas. No
other animal has that ability.
Please note: that ability is not absolute in Man, nor is it even
yet invariably present in all men. There are indications that ba-
boons have some degree of symbolization language, and strong
indications that porpoises also have a language. Let's consider the
problem of the very early proto-human proto-tribe; in essence, it
was to distinguish the Men from the Monkeys, among the progeny
One thing that helps on making the thing possible is that the
human race has a nearly-unique situation; the human male can
rape the female without her consent or co-operation— something
impossible to practically all other mammalian species. This is
somewhat more important than it at first appears. If the males of
the proto-tribe are going to select the young produced, and de-
stroy the ones they consider unacceptable— the female's instincts
are to protect her young, and to find and mate with males who
ON TEE SELECTIVE BREEDING OF HUMAN BEINGS 159
will accept and protect her young. The proto-human females
would have refused to mate with males who destroyed their
young, if they were able to refusel There's no use having a good,
valid idea ... if you can't make it work, you know. If the fe-
males had been able to block it, it wouldn't have worked.
So Item #1 in the proto-human males: They could overcome
the ancient mammalian instinct to accept and protect all their
Obviously the No. 1 test for Man vs. Monkey was whether the
individual young learned to use language. All indications avail-
able suggest that those who didn't pass the test were converted
to food for the tribe; cannibalism was, at the period under dis-
cussion, de rigueur.
That individuals incapable of learning to use language were
flunked from the proto-tribe is fairly understandable; a group
having a really rugged struggle to achieve a subsistence level of
existence doesn't support incompetents. It can't. It has a better
use for them— as food.
Please try to get something of the viewpoint of these proto-
humans. They were not human . . . yet. They were not sentimen-
tal; they were, equally, not cruel. A falling tree may crush a
child, and hold it pinned helpless, while it dies slowly in scream-
ing agony; still, the tree is not cruel. A wolf kills a fawn; it is not
cruel, either— simply hungry. The early proto-humans were in-
capable of cruelty; that is an attitude, a concept, beyond the
reach of their very unsubtle minds. Cruelty requires sophistica-
tion; tiiese proto-humans utterly lacked it.
If they caught four members of an alien tribe, only one of
whom could be eaten by the tribe that day, they broke the arms
and legs of the other three. This kept the extra supply of meat
fresh and unspoiled until it, too, could be eaten while very simply
and directly preventing escape. This was not cruelty; it was lack
The young who did not learn to use speech were recognized as
nonmen, as animals, and eaten.
Maintain that system for some one to ten kilogenerations . . .
and it's a very, very effective selective breeding system. Even re-
cessive nonspeech genes will get combed out.
l60 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Oh, of course they ate a few who couldn't learn to speak be-
cause of hearing defects, or vocal anomalies, who were, other-
wise, perfectly sound carriers of sound genes. But that was quite
unimportant; the females were always producing more young
than could be fed anyway. And the hearing defect might have
been a genetic anomaly too ... so into the pot with him.
Note that once a proto-human proto-tribe capable of speech
arises, it will inevitably become a self-perpetuating selective-
breeding system that culls out all nonspeaking young produced.
And this tendency won't continue just for a few generations— just
while a particular dynasty of tribal leaders prevails. It has a char-
acteristic that will make it continue as a basic of the tribe so long
as the tribe exists.
Since tribes capable of speech have a very, very real advantage
over nonspeaking herds, the tribe will persist indefinitely.
If it is overcome and destroyed— it's almost certain that only
another speaking tribe will be able to organize sufficiently to de-
And, incidentally, note that War was invented by proto-
humans as a necessary, racial-benefiting system. Any speaking
tribe has so great an advantage over any nonspeaking herd that
with only animal enemies, wild and destructive variants could
rise to lethal concentration before being eliminated. A speaking
tribe could go off on some intrinsically destructive aberrant de-
velopment and go beyond the point of no return if only animal
predators menaced it. But with alien speaking tribes around to
menace— they will be forced to fly right, or get clipped quick.
Only other men, that is, constituted adequate judges of human
or proto-human tribes.
Given a few thousand generations— and tribal life has been go-
ing on for at least ten thousand generations— the selective breed-
ing system produced a pure-bred strain of speech-gifted people.
Today, even our lowest idiots, defective as they are, maintain
that very, very, deeply inbred ability. Nonspeaking genes were,
in the proto-tribal environment, absolutely lethal genes, having a
one hundred per cent infant mortality effect. Even recessive non-
speaking genes get pretty thoroughly eliminated in the course of
ten thousand generations.
ON THE SELECTIVE BREEDING OF HUMAN BEINGS l6l
Sure it's hard to breed out recessive characteristics— and at
twelve miles a second it takes a long time to get around the
galaxy. That doesn't mean it's impossible; it just means it takes
time. A quarter million years of time, for eliminating nonspeak-
ing Monkeys from the race of Men.
Now obviously the time to eliminate carriers of defective genes
is before they breed, not afterward. That is, the young should be
tested for defects before being allowed to mate; passing the tests
would then give the testee the right to take a mate and start
breeding. They would, in other words, be the Manhood Rites.
Any anthropologist can assure you that Manhood Rites are uni-
versally found among tribes on all the continents all over the
planet. Since the African Negroes, the South American Indians
and the Australian Aborigines have had no cultural common ori-
gin in the last thirty thousand years, it's fair indication that the
Manhood Rites ceremonies have been effectively part of the hu-
man tribal system for at least thirty thousand years. That alone
would be quite an extensive selective breeding force.
Now there is one basic feature that is common to practically
all Manhood Rites ceremonies everywhere; trial by ordeal.
Remember that one of the two crucial tests that separates Man
from Monkey is that a Man can, by rational intellectual effort
overcome, override, his instinctive controls. He can do what his
instincts violently forbid, and can refrain from doing what his
instincts command. A Monkey cannot.
You can train an animal to jump through a flaming hoop— by
teaching him the fact that the fire does not hurt. You can not
teach an animal to hold still while a burning brand is thrust
against its flesh to sear the flesh— to hold still, while the stink of
its own burning meat rises into its nostrils. You can teach an ani-
mal that its instinctive response does not apply in this case; it
can then jump through the burning hoop. But the instinct does
apply when a red-hot coal is burning its way into its flesh.
Three extremely powerful instinctive pain-dread systems exist
in animals: 1. Thou shalt not allow thy protective skin to be pene-
trated lest thou diel
l62 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
2. Thou shalt not allow thy teeth to be destroyed, for with-
out them, thou cannot nourish thyself!
3. Thou shalt protect thy genitals with thy life, for without
them thou shalt die genetically.
In other words, skin, teeth, and genitals all have very high in-
stinctive survival value.
Typical Manhood Rites involve ordeals by fire, involving real,
not mock, destructive burning of the skin, or cutting the skin of
the chest in two places, forcing a leather strap through from one
slit to the other, and requiring that the boy tear the strap out
through his skin, and scarifying tattooing-the-hard-way. Tooth-
filing is another quite standard Manhood test. And circumcision
is one of the oldest and most widespread. (The Jews moved it
from Manhood to babyhood— but by then, they'd developed some
quite different and more important tests.)
I think it will be unequivocally agreed that no Monkey could
pass any one of these tests— for the real essence of it is that verbal
commands alone must suffice to override ancient, and valid in-
Because they are valid instincts. Occasionally, individuals are
born without a sense of pain; such individuals could, of course,
pass the ordeal test without any difficulty whatever ... if they
could just manage to live that long. The pain instincts are valid;
you cant live without them. The essence of the ancient tribal
tests is that a Man, unlike a Monkey, can, by intellectual-volition
override valid instincts, in real, not mock, situations.
When the Manhood Rites ordeals started, its a fair bet that
every boy who lost the battle to control his instincts, and ran
from the searing brand on his flesh, contributed to the celebra-
tion banquet of the successful Men. Not because the tribesmen
were cruel, nor because they were punishing him for running—
but because he had turned out to be a Monkey, not a Man, and
roast Monkey was a standard item of diet anyway.
The tribe that relaxed its tests— that stopped culling the Mon-
keys from their Men— was aberrant, a defective tribe, and was
presently destroyed by some neighboring tribe. Because Monkeys
will not face real, personal pain in battle, simply because they
must protect their fellow-tribesmen. A Monkey will not take high
ON THE SELECTIVE BREEDING OF HUMAN BEINGS 163
risk of pain and death— will not, because he cannot override the
automatic instinct pilot-controls— just to save fellow tribesmen.
We, today, benefit from the ancient Manhood Rites selective
breeding system that went on for tens of thousands of generations,
whenever a jet pilot, in a plane with a flamed-out engine, rides
his flying coffin into the ground ... so it won't fall into a school-
yard, a hospital, or a suburban development. He does it because
his ancestors were Men, not Monkeys— they passed the test of
Manhood. They earned the right to breed.
Our ancestors may have been ignorant in many things— but
they were not stupid, nor were they fools. They found ways to
selectively breed Men from Monkeys— and they had the cold,
high, and ruthless determination to do it.
Man has been defined as a "rational animal"; the ancient ani-
mal instincts are essential to being a Man. The ancient pain in-
stinct, the ancient instinct to find a mate and breed— without
these the individual and his line would die. Yet the essence of
the "rational" part of the definition is that Man can override the
instinct controls for cause.
An individual specimen with that strange characteristic must
arise constantly among the Monkeys; the difference is that ten
thousand generations of selective breeding have produced, in
Man, a genetic norm that has that characteristic.
But that is a far more subtle and complex question than the
simple "speaks" or "cant speak"; the ability to speak has been
almost absolutely stabilized in Man. The ability to override in-
stinct for rational cause cannot be so sharply and simply defined
at any level higher than the level of physical pain.
The modern rapist, who cannot override an instinctive drive,
would present a very simple problem to our ancestors. "He is not
a Man, but a Monkey; destroy him."
The more subtle levels of rational overcontrol are still in proc-
ess of selection; never, in all time to come, will the necessity for
selective breeding of human beings end, however. There are not
only outcroppings of recessive genes to fight— there are always
negative mutations that regenerate the eliminated and rejected
genes. There will be Monkeys who cannot learn speech born,
through all future ages. There are, and will be, Monkeys who
164 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Axidiog
cannot take rational command from the automatic-pilot of in-
stincts born. Through all the ages ahead, both types, when born,
must be denied membership in the race of Man.
Currently, there's another level of selective breeding needed
—and coming up. The Tribal Man was selectively bred for the
characteristic that training and instruction should be able to over-
What we know as Civilization requires a higher characteristic;
that judgment of an immediate, present instance be able to over-
ride both training and instinct.
The Monkey was required to give up his reliance on instinct
to become a Man; the Tribesman must give up his reliance on
instinct and training to become a Citizen.
The Monkey's sense of rightness-and-security was, basically,
derived from all his ancestors— instinctive. The Tribesman de-
rived his sense of rightness and security from all his tribe— the
training in ritual and taboo. The Citizen must derive his sense of
rightness from his own judgments— without losing sight of the
fact that his judgments can be wrong.
The Citizen, poor guy, has to get along without any sense of
security; it is a luxury he can't afford, if he is to live by judgment,
instead of Traditional Training or Instinct.
Some of the greatest minds in the history of human science are
Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, and Isaac
These men did certain work, concerning certain observational
data, for certain motivations. They were five great Astrologers.
Running an article on the nature and development of astrology
in this magazine— or any other magazine directed primarily to a
technically oriented readership— calls for some explanation. It
has been thoroughly, solidly, completely established, for a couple
of centuries now, that astrology is superstitious nonsense.
Since that solid decision is now a couple of centuries old, and
is flatly in contradiction of five of the keenest minds the human
race is known to have produced, it is at least reasonable to re-
view the decision at this point and see if modern data does, in
fact, confirm the now centuries-old conclusions. (Be it remem-
bered that, in essence, an "old superstition' , is a conclusion
reached by people several centuries previously, without adequate
grounds, and which has not been rationally reviewed since. In
that sense, the proposition "Astrology is superstitious nonsense"
is itself a superstition!)
The two areas of research that most fascinated Isaac Newton
were astrology and alchemy. Through a long period of the Renais-
sance the most able technically inclined minds of Mankind were
engaged in studies of astrology and alchemy.
Alchemy— in the sense of the search for the Philosopher's Stone,
and the transmutation of base metals to gold— proved a complete
bust. Transmutation we now know is perfectly possible . . . but
not by any chemical manipulation. The Philosopher's Stone was a
completely false goal.
Astrology broke down into something considered quite differ-
ent—Astronomy. We now say that Tycho Brahe was a great as-
l66 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
tronomer, and that those other great men were also early astrono-
Were they? They didn't say so! To decide the question, we
must, first, get some sort of a definition of the difference between
"astrology" and "astronomy." You think you can do that easily?
Oh . . . "Astrology is that superstitious nonsense about predicting
future events on Earth by studying the positions of the stars and
And how do the United States government agencies set about
predicting the tides? By astrology— if that's the definition of As-
Oh . . . that's different, because that's simple gravitational
force computation? You mean, then, "it ain't what you do, it's the
way that you do it!"
Then Kepler couldn't help being an astrologer. Since gravity
hadn't been defined at the time he was doing his work, when he
computed tides by studying the aspects of the Sun and Moon, he
was an astrologer. A later computer predicting tides by studying
the aspects of the Sun and Moon, however, would not be an
astrologer, even though he did exactly the same things, because
he knew that gravity existed. That it?
Hm-m-m . . . and what is this "gravity"? Is it anything like
"elan vital" or phlogiston? They explained observed phenomena
also, though, at the time, they could not themselves be defined.
No, somehow that doesn't satisfy. The modern computer uses
Kepler's laws, and the laws of that later, greater astrologer, New-
ton, and essentially not only does what Kepler did, but does it the
way Kepler did.
It seems to me the real difference is purely subjective— which is
why the oh-so-strictly-objective scientist doesn't care to try to de-
fine the difference. The difference is purely a matter of motiva-
tion—not of action nor of process. If Q. Publicus killed B. Marcus
by running him through with his short sword, was Q. Publicus a
murderer? No, Q. Publicus was the executioner designated by his
Centurion to dispose of B. Marcus, traitor. Murder is determined
not by action nor by method, but by motive.
And even that differentiation can get a bit subtle at times.
Most alchemists got into the business partly from pure curiosity
ASTROLOGER— ASTRONOMER— ASTRO-ENGINEER 167
—basic research— and considerably for reasons of making money.
The modern chemist gets into the business partly through the
urge of pure curiosity, and partly to make a living. And the nu-
clear physicist is trying to perfect his transmutation techniques
just as his ancestral alchemist was!
The error in alchemy was that they were trying to do a level of
work that could not be handled until several centuries of addi-
tional, lower-level data had been accumulated. They were trying
to enter the era of nucleonics before they'd learned what the
There were some three centuries of chemical engineering be-
tween where they were and where they thought they were— at
the border of the nuclear era.
The astrologers were in somewhat the same position; they
needed a very great deal more information about such funda-
mentals as celestial mechanics, nuclear physics, radiation physics,
high-energy particle emission, ionic phenomena, magnetic field
effects . . . oh, a very great deal!— before they could even begin
to get some of what they thought they were ready for. And, of
course, they had a lot of false ideas of what they could get any-
way—just as the alchemists thought they could get the Philoso-
Basically, Astrology started several millennia ago, when early
men first observed the immense effect the cycles of the stars had
on events here on Earth. The early Egyptians and Babylonians
had no slightest conception of why the world grew colder when
the cycle of the stars brought Orion rising in the east at twilight
—or why the world grew warmer again when Lyra rose at dusk,
and Orion was no longer visible.
Earliest civilized man observed a very simple, direct, and ab-
solutely unchallengeable fact-of-nature. The movements of the
stars predicted the changing of the climate with perfect relia-
They had not the slightest notion why. But then, they didn't
know why planting a seed caused a plant to come up. When the
world is one vast collection of mysteries, the business of a wise
l68 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
man is to establish some sound, reliable correlations, letting the
questions of why go until he has more information.
At that stage of history, Man was acutely aware that he had to
learn how to make sense out of the Universe he found around
him— not demand that the Universe make sense in his terms if it
wanted him to accept itl
To us it is obvious that the perfect one-to-one correlation be-
tween the cycles of the stars and the climate on Earth was not
an observation of a cause-effect relationship, but of two effects of
a single cause. The clock may mark the time of sunrise, but that
correlation doesn't prove the clock causes the sun to rise. Ob-
vious ... to us.
By the time man's first fairly complex high-level civilizations
had built themselves, over many laborious centuries, the knowl-
edge that the movements of the stars accurately predicted events
on Earth was one of the unarguable established facts. As solidly
proven as the fact that planting seeds was necessary to get a crop.
However . . . planting seeds, while necessary, is unfortunately
not sufficient to assure a crop. Planting seeds is a Strong and
Necessary Magic, and undeniably a very sound and Powerful
Magic for crop-producing. (And it's magic, bub . . . when you
haven't, by several thousand years, reached the stage of building
microscopes and ultracentrifuges and microchemical analytical
systems capable of studying the immense complexities of RNA
and DNA and cytoplasm and genetics.) Just because a Magic
doesn't work every time does not— very definitely not!— mean you
should reject it as nonsense. Is there anything more supernatu-
rally improbable than that this dry, withered, seemingly dead bit
of woody stuff should turn itself somehow into an immense tree?
Why, no tale of magical transformation out of the Arabian Nights
ever surpassed thatl
So . . . given the factual knowledge that the predictable cycles
of the stars foretold the coming of events on Earth, it remained
only to achieve more sophisticated methods of interpreting the
patterns of star-movements to determine the finer details of
events on Earth.
Now perhaps we can define an Astrologer as one who studies the
ASTROLOGER— ASTRONOMER— ASTRO-ENGINEER 1 69
stars to establish his conviction that human events on Earth can
be predicted by the movements of the stars, and to perfect his
ability thereby to predict human events more acutely.
An Astronomer studies the stars to determine what and where
they are . . . because he wants to understand the stars.
As of the beginning of the Space Age, we can specify a third
profession— the Astro-engineer, who studies the stars in order to
predict what effects they are going to have on human engineering
An engineer studying the possibilities of a tidal power project
would be one example of astro-engineering.
Now be it noted that Alchemy has been dead and dishonored
for a couple of centuries, and all sound, properly educated Sci-
entists knew that Transmutation was Impossible, by 1880. Chem-
istry had, by then rejected in toto the concepts of alchemy— phi-
losopher's stone, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, transmutation of the
elements— the works.
So here we are transmuting elements, and aware that trans-
mutation of the elements is the basic process that makes the Uni-
verse go round.
But here we are also being so amazingly astute and wise that
we know for a positive fact that the positions of the planets has
nothing whatever to do with any events here on Earth. Oh, the
Moon, yes, of course! But what effect could Jupiter, or Saturn, or
Mars have on human affairs? How could they possibly affect any-
thing here on Earth? What nonsense to suggest that the relative
positions of planets could have any meaning!
And then we have the work of John Nelson, Communications
Engineer, who I suggest might well be classified as an Astro-
engineer, who has learned to study the positions of the planets
in order to predict their effects on human engineering problems.
That solar flares disrupted radio communications here on Earth
was a readily ascertained fact— as soon as we had radio communi-
cations to be disrupted. Magnetic storms caused by solar flares
had been raising hob with maritime navigation for centuries; a
ship's compass points generally northward, unless there's a mag-
netic storm, in which case it's just as apt to point East, West, or
if it has a chance, Straight Up. As long power lines were strung
170 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
across the country, and telegraph and telephone lines, we learned
a new aspect of the storms— they could induce perfectly deadly
voltages and currents in long conductors.
John Nelson has shown— by making ninety-three per cent ac-
curate predictions, when a time accuracy of ±10 minutes at 5-
day ranges— that the occurrence of solar flares can be predicted
by observing the patterns of the planets.
Now this is something entirely new in observational science; it
is a proven instance of a pattern having an effect that the ele-
ments of the pattern do not have. It's true that chemists ran into
that phenomenon at the molecular level— CH3-O-CH3 has the
same elements as CH 3 CH 2 OH but a radically different effectl
—but to find that a pattern-arrangement of the planets has im-
mensely significant effects that the planets themselves do not is
a very different thing indeed.
And it means that a phenomenon has been demonstrated to be
valid without anyone yet having been able to explain why it is
valid. It works . . . and we don't know why.
I fear that, little as Science likes that situation, that is a problem
that will arise through all the megayears of history yet to come.
Obviously any time a really new phenomenon is stumbled on, it
will have exactly that characteristic.
Nelson's work during the past seven years has been of immense
value to the communications industry; his motivation in studying
the stars and planets is not that of the astrologer, nor that of the
astronomer. He's not interested in the stars and planets for their
own sakes; he's interested in them as what I think we should call
an astro-engineer— to find out how to arrange his engineering
problem, long distance communications by radio, in view of the
observed effects those bodies have.
When a solar flare lets loose, it would be quite appropriate to
say that all Hell is out for noon. The article "Gravity Insufficient,"
by Hal Clement, in the November 1961 issue gave a discussion of
what has been found out about solar flares and their effects. It's
painfully clear that when a solar flare cuts loose, any man outside
of Earth's atmosphere— and no man has yet gone outside; neither
Russian nor American capsules were beyond the protective layers
ASTROLOGER— ASTRONOMER— ASTRO-ENGINEER 171
of the upper atmosphere— in any space-capsule present technol-
ogy can lift off the ground would be a well cooked goose. If he
were in an orbit at 100,000 miles— he'd have to be about that far
out to get beyond the normal Van Allen belt— he'd have to spend
days getting there, making one orbit, and getting back. If a flare
occurred at any time during that period, he would be completely
A flare can develop in a period of about fifteen minutes. Eight
minutes after it gets going, the X-radiation arrives at Earth's or-
bit, X-radiation of a hardness and intensity such that any shield-
ing we could lift off the launching pad would be useless.
If the astro- or cosmo-naut caught out in the solar storm started
for home right then ... it would be futile. Remember, the limi-
tations of modern technology will mean he has to come in by
using retrorockets to change his near-circular orbit to a grazing-
ellipse orbit. And to get through the normal Van Allen belt safely,
he must break his orbit at the right part of its 320,000 mile cir-
cumference and come in to the lower atmosphere through one of
the magnetic-polar tunnels through the Van Allen radiations. He
won't have rocket power enough to simply turn his ship around,
blast for home on an emergency short-cut orbit, and get out of
the solar storm.
It would take him a day or more on the fastest orbit home he
Beginning a few minutes after the X rays arrive at the speed of
light, some extremely high-speed electrons will be showing up.
They won't penetrate even the thin metal walls of a space-capsule
. . . but the X rays generated when the walls do stop them will.
Shortly after the fastest electrons will come the fastest nuclei-
protons largely, traveling at very near light-speed. Gradually, the
intensity of radiation will increase as the greater numbers of
slower protons and electrons make the 93,000,000 mile trip from
Long before the spaceman could get down even so far as the
outer Van Allen belt, that belt would be enormously surcharged
with trapped ions from the solar flare. The radiation in the belts
would, by that time, be so deadly as to kill him in minutes if he
did try penetrating.
172 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Any astronaut caught off Earth in a modern space-capsule— or
any in the foreseeable future of present technology— will be as
dead as if he'd taken a swim on one of those swimming-pool
The space agencies of all nations will have to employ astro-
engineers like John Nelson, who can predict what's going to hap-
pen to human engineering projects, by studying the pattern of
positions of the planets.
One can imagine the shop-talk of a couple of astrogators in
years ahead. "Well, on this run we had to get through before
May 31st, or the line lost that contract for good. But look, we had
Jupiter and Saturn practically dead-on at quadrature, with Mars
in opposition to Saturn. Earth was neutral, and the only favorable
planet we had was Venus in trine with Jupiter. So Harmonson,
the damn fool, says sure we can make it, and accepts the run!
With a planetary pattern like that he thinks he can get by with-
out a flare, yet! So . . ."
They'll sound like astrologers. They certainly won't sound like
astronomers— because astrogators won't be interested in the stars
and planets for their own sweet sakes. They'll be very strictly
practical in their interests; they won't care why certain planetary
patterns trigger solar flares— but they'll have an acute personal in-
terest in the fact that they do! They'll carefully consult the pat-
tern of the planets to determine whether their aspects are propi-
tious. If they've got Jupiter, Saturn and Mars situated 120 apart
around the Sun, it'll be a milk run. The Sun doesn't flare, when
those planets are 120 ° apart.
It was the alchemists, not chemists, who first learned to make
oil of vitriol, and corrosive sublimate and aqua regia— and our
modern technological culture would break down without the
megatons of oil of vitriol we need.
It begins to look, now, as though it's time to go back and glean
through astrology, with the vast funds of new knowledge and
new techniques available.
We're damn well going to need astro-engineers in the next few
HYDROGEN ISN'T CULTURAL
In the February 1957 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, H.
Beam Piper had a story "Omnilingual" concerning the translation
of the Martian language, found in the 50,000-plus year-old ruins.
The anthropologists and linguists insisted that, since there could
be no Rosetta Stone bilingual key, relating the unknown Martian
writings to a known language, no translation would be possible.
Piper had a very simple, but enormously powerful point to
make; the Martians had had a highly developed technology of
chemistry, electricity, mechanics, et cetera. And chemistry is not
a matter of cultural opinion; it's a matter of the "opinion" of the
Universe. It makes not the slightest difference whether you re a
Martian, a Russian, an American, or an inhabitant of the fourth
planet of a KO star in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud; hydrogen
behaves in one, and only one way. Because the term "hydrogen "
is a human-language symbol for a specific set of behavior charac-
teristics, and, in this universe, that set of behavior characteristics
requires the interaction of a single proton and a single electron in
an atomic structure. ( There may be o, 1, or 2 neutrons with only
minute variations of the chemical properties, though the resultant
nuclear characteristics are widely different.)
Any highly developed technology of chemistry will have a term
referring to that pattern-of-characteristics; it has to have. The pat-
tern of characteristics is a function not of the culture, but of the
Universe itself. Whether you call a certain element "sauerstoff" or
"oxygen' makes no difference; the behavior characteristics of the
hydride of that element will remain the same.
Technically, under international agreement, there is no such
element as "tungsten" any more— but the metal they use for in-
candescent lamp filaments maintains the same characteristic of
phenomenally high melting point, whether it be called "tungsten"
or "wolfram." No alien-star culture can develop a chemical system
in which that element dissolves in dilute sulfuric acid and melts
174 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
at noo°C; the laws of the Universe, not the agreements of intel-
ligent entities is involved.
Perhaps the scientists working on the problem of cracking the
genetic code should take time out to read H. Beam Piper's story.
It might help in understanding one of the "mysteries of the ge-
netic code" that has been discovered recently.
The communication system of genetics appears to be based on
information encoded in the very complex arrangement of amino
acid units in the giant molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid— DNA.
A great deal of work has been done on some of the simpler, and
more tractable organisms— microorganisms usually, because
they're cheap, reproduce rapidly, and are "the small economy
The colon bacillus has been a favorite; it's hardy, handy, and
prolific and— which is not an unimportant consideration!— it's not
a dangerously lethal organism.
Certain "codons," or groupings of three-bases-together, are
"words" in the 'language" of genetics. There are four important
amino-acid-bases; adenine, cystine, guanine and uracil. It is
combinations of these four, taken three-at-a-time that make up
the "words," or codons.
The codons are genetic-language "words" which specify a
particular amino acid which is to be incorporated in a protein
molecule being constructed— an enzyme, hormone, or tissue com-
Careful research established that, in the genetic language of
the colon bacillus, certain identified codons "meant" certain spe-
cific and identified amino acids. I.e., the biochemists had suc-
ceeded in translating some of the codons of the colon bacillus
genetic language into human language.
A scientist of Polaris B lie studying human chemistry might
learn to translate the symbols HC1 into his native symbols *~>;
so human biochemists learned to translate b. coli genetic lan-
guage into human language.
Our article "Cracking the Code," by Carl A. Larson, in the De-
cember, 1963 issue covers a good bit of the work done in that
area. It's one of the neatest pieces of cross-collaboration between
scientists in history; biologists, chemists, information-theory spe-
HYDROGEN ISN T CULTURAL 175
cialists, and computermen had to work as a team to get the
Recently, scientists in that field have been able to make an-
other important experimental step. If a specific codon, ACG, in
b. coli geneticese "means" alanine— what does the codon ACG
mean in the genetic language of other organisms? Or do all organ-
isms "speak" the same genetic language?
The experiments performed recently by Dr. I. Bernard Wein-
stein, of the Columbia University College of Physicians and
Surgeons, strongly indicate that all terrestrial organisms "speak"
the same genetic language.
The identification of meaning of colon bacillus codons permit-
ted checking those specific codons in the genetic DNA of other
organisms, and determining whether these other organisms used
the same "dictionary" of codons. Six specific codons were checked
for "meaning" in the genetic language of a protozoon, Chalmy-
domonas, rat liver cells, and mouse tumor cells. All six codons, in
each type of cell, correlated with the same specific amino acids.
The language for all these widely different organisms was the
same, at least with respect to these six specific amino acids.
The evolutionary gap between bacillus coli, which belongs in
the plant kingdom, and at an extremely primitive level, the pro-
tozoon, and the highly evolved rodent tissue cells is enormous.
The branch-off of the plant and animal kingdoms must have oc-
curred at least two billion years ago; the evolutionary level of the
placental mammals represents perhaps a billion years of advance
and development beyond the protozoon.
Any system of message encodement, that remains unchanged
through some two thousand million years of transmission— through
perhaps two trillion relayings from one generation to the next—
has a most remarkable degree of stability. The encoding system
carries genetic information; the genetic information is, of course,
subject to mutation. It's those mutations over the megayears, that
separated the bacillus, the protozoon and the rodents. But the
system of encoding is evidently either absolutely immune to mu-
tation, or so nearly so that not even two billion years of time, and
two trillion relayings has altered it.
I76 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
It's been suggested that the organisms all have the same ge-
netic code because they all descended from the same original
life-cell, and have not changed the coding since.
There's another possibility, however.
Nearly ten years ago, on a visit up to Cambridge, Massachu-
setts, I got together with a group of Harvard and MIT researchers
—all science-fiction readers— in a fine bull-session discussion.
With "malice aforethought," I threw in for discussion the fol-
lowing problem: Suppose that for some reason it is necessary to
deposit a message on a planet— we'll make it a planet like the
Earth— which is to be recoverable after a period of two billion
Now carving it in a mountainside won't work for that period of
time. Nor will engraving it on platinum-iridium plates, even if
we deposit hundreds of engraved plates all over the surface of the
We'll make the message something relatively simple and
specific, so we can discuss it— we'll say it's a statement concerning
the interaction of carbon dioxide and water.
The discussion took off in fine fashion— and it was really
being analyzed by some highly competent minds. As I recall,
Claude Shannon, the founder of Information Theory, was there,
and Warren Seaman, of the Harvard Computer Labs, Wayne
Batteau, Instrumentation Theory specialist, and some of the men
working on the machine translation of language at die Harvard
It was strictly a discussion of a problem for the fun of analyzing
problems; it lasted well over an hour and a half before they'd
agreed on a general technique that could preserve such a mes-
sage, on such a planet, over such a period of time.
To begin with, trying to establish some monument that can be
stable against all tectonic, chemical and erosive attacks for any
such period of time is nonsense; give up. A method of multiple-
record must be used; the message must be inscribed so many
times that even if a million copies are lost, there will be plenty
more to be recovered.
But the use of multiple-record introduces problems of error-
HYDROGEN ISN T CULTURAL 177
multiplication. Moreover, no number of copies distributed across
the planet's surface at any given time can be expected to be sure
to leave some available at the surface a billion years later. Erosion
and tectonic forces keep changing the surface.
It must, then, be not only a multiple-record system, but must
also be self-replicating, and be given a tendency to seek the
surface of the planet.
However, a self-replicating system now compounds the prob-
lem of error-transmission, since a defective copy of the message
will tend to replicate the error indefinitely.
Somehow, the self-replicating message-carrier device must
have an error-detecting-and-rejecting arrangement that will auto-
matically destroy any false copies.
The entire discussion couldn't be printed here, even if I had a
magnetic tape recording of it. (Which, I deeply regret, I do
not! ) The essence of it was that, starting from the proposed prob-
lem, these Information Theory and Instrumentation Theory men
derived precisely the fundamental mechanism of genetics. And
the discussion had gone on for well over an hour before they
consciously recognized that they were, in fact, defining genetics!
Dr. Weinstein should have been there! The genetic mechanism
is, clearly, precisely such a mechanism as that group sought to
define; it has preserved, in very multiple record, a precisely ac-
curate message concerning the interaction of carbon dioxide and
water— try living on this planet without that information!— and
preserved it without error for better than two billion years.
The message is self-replicating, and has a built-in mechanism
for eliminating faulty copies. (Any cell with false notions about
the interaction of C0 2 and H 2 is immediately self-terminating! )
That the message is recoverable, even after this immense span
of time, is being proven by the work of Dr. Weinstein and his
associates in the genetic decoding work.
That the message has been preserved accurately— i.e., correctly
—is demonstrated by the fact that the living cells are living suc-
The one factor that wasn't brought out in that bull-session dis-
cussion was that it is advantageous to have self-replicating
multiple-record devices of many variant types, so that ideally the
178 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
self-replicating message-carriers should be capable of self-
generated adaptations as the planetary surface varies over the
megayears. There's no need to make the devices unable to carry
additional messages; the requirement was only that The Message
should be carried on infallibly.
I think the reason why all terrestrial life has the same basic
genetic language— uses the same codon-dictionary— is, simply, be-
cause That's The Way This Universe Is. Hydrogen is not cultural;
it's universal. The laws of chemistry aren't the private opinions of
human beings— or of terrestrial life. There is one, and only one
way of making a hydrogen atom. The interactions of C0 2 and
H 2 are what they are, and there is no alternative. You cant have
any different opinions . . . and stay alive in this Universe.
I'm willing to bet that, when we get a chance to study extra-
terrestrial life, we'll find that the codon-dictionary is not merely a
terrestrial-life dictionary— but the dictionary of biochemistry for
all CHONS, we might say. CHONS standing for Carbon, Hydro-
gen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Sulfur life forms.
Life's business seems to be preserving The Message of Life
across gigayears of time, unfailingly, accurately, and always re-
coverably. The face of a planet isn't stable; it changes beyond
recognition in even a few megayears. No structure of matter is
stable against the changes of billions of years; even the nuclei of
stable atoms are not certainly trustworthy over such a span. Ask
any carbon- 14 dating expert!
Only the absolute, fundamental laws of the Real Universe are
to be considered adequately stable for The Message . . . with the
added proviso that if those laws are not, in fact, stable, the self-
replicating multiple-copy message eventually transmitted and re-
covered will then not be accurate, but will be true! For the mes-
sage will have changed to preserve the meaning, rather than the
Hydrogen isn't cultural, as H. Beam Piper pointed out.
And I'll bet that the genetic codons aren't terrestrial, either.
POLITICS-A NEW LOOK
CONSTITUTION FOR UTOPIA
The standard operating procedure for the Utopia-inventor is to
describe his Utopia in terms of how he wants it to work. That is,
he describes what he considers the goal-ideal of a society should
be, and how he thinks that goal ideal will be achieved, in terms
of how happy, healthy and wise citizens of Utopia co-operate
beautifully to produce wonderful music together. Usually, there's
no crime, because, says the author, in so perfect and happy a
state no one wants for anything.
There is, however, an astonishing lack of discussion of the legal
code on which these Utopias are based— the machinery of the
social system is always happily hidden out of sight, and we don't
need to look at it, because it works so nicely.
IVe seen— and in a college textbook, at that!— a definition of
the Socialistic System that read, in essence, "Socialism is a system
assuring maximum distribution of the wealth of the society to the
productive citizens . . ." That makes things real nice for Social-
ists; if that is the definition, then, by definition, they're bound to
be right! If a system doesn't "assure maximum distribution of the
wealth" then, it isn't Socialism, and any system that does achieve
that obviously desirable goal is, by definition, a version of Social-
ism, and see, doesn't that prove Socialism is the ideal system?
It's been standard operating procedure to define Utopias in
just such terms— and consider the legal code required to achieve
them "a mere detail." Something gross-materialist, anti-idealist,
conservative— or whatever opprobrious term happens to be cur-
rent—people throw up as a deliberate effort to becloud the real,
Now Utopias always have been in the legitimate field of in-
terest of science fiction; let's try, in readership assembled, rather
than in congress assembled, to see what the whole group of some
100,000 readers can come up with in the way of designing a
mechanism for a Utopian culture! This editorial is not intended as
l82 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
an Answer to the Question; it's intended to start the ball rolling;
Brass Tacks can be the forum. What we re seeking is to pound
out a Constitution for Utopia, defining a system that will generate
the cultural system we want— not a eulogistic rhapsody about
how glorious it will be when we get it done.
As a locale, lets consider that the Utopian culture is to be
started among the people living in, on, and among the asteroids,
about seventy-five years hence. (The locale is not critical, of
course; the machinery of government is designed for human
beings; what devices they use, where they five, is of secondary
To begin with, recognize that we are not going to get a culture
that is the perfect heart's-desire system of every inhabitant. That
is called Heaven.
What we'll have to do is seek an optimum culture. It's an en-
gineering problem, and should be approached as such. Many a
time an engineer would like a material as transparent as glass,
as strong and tough as steel, capable of resisting an oxidizing
atmosphere at 25oo°C, as light as foam plastic, and as cheap as
cast iron. And as conductive as copper.
The useless engineer is the one who says, "See! They wont give
me what I need! It's impossible to solve the problem!" The en-
gineer who is an engineer starts figuring the optimum balance of
characteristics that will yield not a perfect-ideal, but a thing that
will work, and work with a reliability level high enough to be
useful for the task at hand.
Now one of the first and broadest questions usually raised is, of
course, "What form of government should it be?" Monarchy?
Democracy? Oligarchy? Communism?
That question, I suggest, is of no importance whatsoever!
Utopia can be a Communism, an Anarchy, or an Absolute
Tyranny; the matter is of no real consequence.
My evidence is quite simple: Traditionally, benevolent tyranny
is the optimum form of government ... if you can just assure
that the tyrant is, and remains, benevolent. Also, traditionally,
both Heaven and Hell are absolute monarchies.
Wise, benevolent, and competent rulers can make any form of
government Utopian— and fools who are benevolent, kind, and
CONSTITUTION FOR UTOPIA 183
gentle, can turn any form of government into Hell. Scoundrels
need not apply; scoundrels normally have a reasonable degree of
competence, and will, for their own benefit, maintain a higher
standard of efficient government than will benevolent fools. Wit-
ness the incomparable mare's-nest of the Congo, which has re-
sulted far more from the blundering of fools than machinations
of villains. Villains wouldn't have loused things up so completely;
nobody can make anything out of the idealistic shemozzle the
Anarchy is government-that-is-no-govemment. In other words,
each individual citizen is his own ruler. Given that all the citizens
are wise, benevolent, and competent, anarchy will produce a
Utopia. Unfortunately, this requires that each citizen be in fact,
not simply in his own perfectly sincere convictions, actually
wise, benevolent, and competent. The observable norm of human
experience is that the incompetent fool will show the highest
certainty of his own wise competence, the strongest conviction
that his answers can be doubted, questioned, even discussed, only
by black-hearted, evil-minded villains who seek to oppose his
good, wise intentions.
Given that all the rulers are-in-fact wise, benevolent and com-
petent, Communism works just dandy. The Catholic Church
has certainly not opposed the concept of Communism— they had
it centuries ago in various monastic orders. It's just that the
Church objects to the actuality— the legalistic mechanisms— of
Russian and Chinese style Communism.
Since it can be pretty fairly shown that any form of government—
from pure anarchy through absolute tyranny, with every possible
shading in between— will yield Utopia provided the rulers are
wise, benevolent, and competent, the place to start engineering
our Utopia is with the method of selecting rulers.
I suggest, in fact, that the only constitution Utopia needs is the
method of selecting rulers. England has gotten along rather well
for quite a period of time without a formal constitution; if they
had a better system of selecting their rulers, no need for a con-
stitution would arise. Wise rulers will change traditional methods
of governmental operation when, but only when, the change is
184 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
warranted. We need not bind future centuries with a code that
now seems optimum; conditions can change rather drastically.
Let us set up a method of selecting wise rulers— and then let
their wisdom be fully free to operate. If they choose Tyranny-
then it can be assumed that Tyranny is, for that time and situation,
the optimum governmental system. With a wise tyrant, it is opti-
mum in war, for instance.
The problem is, was, and continues to be— "How to select the
rulers?" Plato talked of "philosopher-kings" . . . but had a little
difficulty defining them. The genetic system, based on the un-
fortunately false proposition "like father, like son" has been tried
very widely. Of course, it's heresy to say so in a democracy, but
were members of the Constitutional Convention of the Minor
Planetoids, assembled on Ceres, in 2035 A.D., and we can observe
that, as a matter of fact, despite the inaccuracy of that father-son
idea, the system worked about as well as any other that's been
tried. For one thing, it gave England some three hundred years
of highly successful government. It's still not good enough— but it's
not completely worthless. It must be recognized as having a
very real degree of merit. Aristocracy as a system has worked
quite well indeed.
Plato's philosopher-king idea runs into the difficulty that, even
today, we haven't any battery of tests that can be applied to
small children that will, with useful reliability, distinguish the
deviant-and-criminal from the deviant-and-genius. Plato's system
depended on spotting the youthful philosopher-kings and educat-
ing them to the tasks of government; the system won't work,
because we can't spot the wise-benevolent.
It gets into further serious difficulty; the way to pass any test is
to give the answers the examiner expects. It has nothing what-
ever to do with giving the right answers. Consider a question like
"Is the government of the German Third Reich a democracy?"
In Germany, in 1941, the answer was, of course, "Ja!" In the rest
of the world the answer was different. Incidentally, can anyone
give me a standard dictionary definition of "democracy" that does
not, actually, apply to Hitler's Reich? The forms of democracy
were there, you know ... it was just that the rulers operating
under those forms were not "wise, benevolent, and competent."
CONSTITUTION FOR UTOPIA 185
Any formal technique of testing applicants for rulership will
have, underlying it, some formal theory of what constitutes "wise,
benevolent and competent" . . . which theory rather inevitably
turns out to mean "like me."
That's perfectly understandable; the men drawing up the con-
stitution are, of course, playing the role of rulers, temporarily.
They feel themselves to be wise, benevolent, and competent . . .
or they wouldn't be trying. And, of course, basically everyone
feels himself "wise, benevolent, and competent," with the ex-
ception of rare moments when, in defense of justice, he has been
forced to be malevolent and punish some wrong-doer who un-
justly attacked his basic rights. Be it clearly recognized that a
homicidal paranoic psychotic, who has just murdered fourteen
people, feels deeply that he is wise, benevolent, and competent,
and has courageously acted in defense of justice against great
odds. They were all persecuting him, and he has simply rebelled
against their tyrannies.
Any method of testing, any formal, logical, reasonably worked
out and rationally structured technique of selecting those fit to
rule . . . will be structured according to the examiners' theories
of what "wise, benevolent and competent" means. The use of
any rationally designed test simply means that the rationality of
the test-builders is clamped on the examinees. They pass if they
agree with the test-builders.
I suggest, therefore, that the selection of rulers must be based on
some nonrational method! Some method which, because it does
not involve any formal— or even hidden-postulate!— theory, will
not allow any special philosophy of "wise, benevolent and com-
petent" to be clamped on the future rulers.
One possible irrational method would, of course, be selection
by random chance. I think it's not necessary to go into details as
to the unsuitability of that particular nonrational method.
The method I propose is a nonrational method which, however,
practically every logician will immediately claim is the very es-
sence of rationality. It is, of course . . . in an ex post facto sense.
I suggest a pure, nontheoretical pragmatic test.
Of course, since the ultimate goal of rationality and logic is
l86 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
the mapping of pragmatic reality, there's a strong tendency for
logicians to claim that any real, pragmatic test is logical. That's
not a valid statement; while it is true that a chain of reasoning is
valid if, and only if, it correlates with reality, it is not true that a
thing is real only if it correlates with logic.
A pragmatic test is, therefore, a nonrational test. It may be said
that "It is rational to use a pragmatic test," but that doesn't make
a pragmatic test a rational test. It does not depend on theory—
and any rationality does.
The only way we can maintain flexibility of viewpoint in our
rulers is to make their selection immune to theoretical determina-
Aristocracy operates on the theory that wise men have wise
sons. The theory has value . . . but it isn't sound enough for
reliable, long-term use. It gets into trouble because, theoretically,
the son of the benevolent monarch will be benevolent, but prac-
tice turns up a not-quite-drooling idiot every now and then— and
the theory of aristocracy can't acknowledge that.
The Communists hold the reasonable sounding proposition that
only the politically educated should be allowed to vote. There-
fore only Party members, who have been given a thorough edu-
cation in political theory and practice, are permitted to vote.
There's certainly a lot of sound value in that idea; it's not unlike
Plato's carefully educated philosopher-kings as rulers. And suffers
the same serious flaw; the way to pass an examination is to give
the answers the examiner expects. The idea sounds good, but
has the intrinsic difficulty that it rigidly perpetuates the political
theories of the originators.
A theocracy accepts that only the dedicated priest is fit to rule,
because his dedication to things above and beyond this world,
and his communion with God, make him uniquely qualified. That
system's worked fairly well, now and then.
Robert Heinlein, in his recent novel "Starship Trooper," pro-
posed that only those who accepted the responsibility of defend-
ing the nation in the armed forces should have the right to vote.
There are very few systems of selecting rulers that have not been
tried somewhere, somewhen; that military-responsibility test for
rulers has been tried. It works very well ... so long as the mili-
CONSTITUTION FOR UTOPIA 187
tary is run by wise, benevolent and competent instructors. That,
however, as I've said, is true of any system of government what-
ever. In actual practice, the Roman Legions became the effec-
tive rulers of Rome during the Empire period— and the results
were horrible. Anyone wishing to be Emperor need only bid for
it, and if he offered the Legions enough money, they'd murder
the current emperor, and install him. One Emperor lasted four
days, as I remember it, before someone outbid him.
This, again, is based on the theory tiiat the Legions should feel
Finally, the theory of popular democracy says "Let everyone
vote; do no selecting of rulers, and there will be no unjust rulers
That theory is fundamentally false, by ancient and repeated
pragmatic test. Maybe it should be true, but it isn't. The most
deadly dangerous, destructive and degrading of all possible rul-
ers is installed in power when true Popular Democracy gets into
The difficulty is this; the old saw that "Power corrupts; absolute
power corrupts absolutely," is not quite correct. Power does not
corrupt; no matter how great the power a man may hold, he will
not become corrupt . . . if he is not also immune. It is immunity
that corrupts; absolute immunity corrupts absolutely. I need very
little power to be a force for unlimited destruction— if I am ab-
Therein lies the key to that horrible mass-entity known as the
Mob. A mob has no organization that can be punished; it is im-
The members of the mob are immune through anonymity. It
has huge physical mass-power; it is immune to the resistance of
its victims, and to the opposition of any normal police force. Only
an army can disrupt a mob; even so, the mob cannot be punished
—called to account and its immunity broken— because it simply
disperses, and no one of the ordinary citizens who composed it
is the mob, or "belongs to" the mob.
The immunity of the mob can produce a corrupting and de-
grading effect that utterly appalls those who were swept up in it,
l88 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
afterward. No viciously sadistic affair in the Roman Arena ex-
ceeds in corruption and degradation what a modern mob, any-
where in any nation today, including the United States, will do.
The mob will do things that not one member of that mob will
Immunity, and the sense of immunity, is the deadliest of cor-
rupting influences. It is, in essence, simply the result of cutting off
the normal negative feedback, the pain-messages that warn of
excesses. Imagine yourself not only blinded, but deprived of all
kinesthetic sense, so you could not tell where your limbs were,
how hard your muscles were pulling, or whether you were
touching anything; you would then be totally immune to external
messages. You would certainly tear yourself to pieces in a matter
The record of history seems to indicate one fundamental law
of civilizations: The Rulers must always be a minority group, or
the culture will be destroyed.
Note this: under the exact and literal interpretation of democ-
racy, it is perfectly legitimate democracy for a ninety per cent
majority to vote that the ten per cent minority be executed by
public torture, in a Roman Arena style spectacle.
The advantage of having the Rulers a minority group is that,
under those conditions, no group has the deadly feeling of im-
munity. The Rulers are a minority, and know it, and must rule
circumspectly; like the mahout driving an elephant, they must
rule always with the realization that they rule by sufferance
only— not by inalienable right.
The majority, then, knows it is ruled— that it is not immune
to punishment, that it is not free to become a mob.
True popular democracy— true rule by the majority— establishes
the government of the mob. It was the growing influence of the
people of Rome, under the venal and practically inoperative rule
of the Legions— the Legions wanted money, not political respon-
sibility; they were fools, rather than villains— that built up to the
demand of "Corn and Games P and the consequences that fol-
A minority group, aware that it is a minority group, is also
CONSTITUTION FOR UTOPIA 189
aware of the problems of other minority groups through direct,
Long ago, Machiavelli pointed out that the Prince cannot rule
in the face of the active opposition of his people; the Prince must
rule circumspectly, for he is a minority.
So whatever system of choosing Rulers we may select for our
Utopia— it must be a system that never allows any group to
achieve the position that, inevitably, every group wants to
achieve— a position of security! The concept of "security* is, in
essence, the same as "immunity"; I am secure if I am immune to
all attack, or efforts to punish or compel me. The Rulers must
never be secure; since they are to have the power of rule, they
must not be a majority, so that there will be the ever-present in-
security of the potential threat of the great mass of people. The
majority, on the other hand, must never have security from the
power of their rulers— or they become a self-destructive mob.
This boils down to the proposition that we want a non-
theoretical-rational test for selecting a minority group of people
who will be, with high reliability, relatively wise, benevolent,
The simplest test for this, that does not depend on the rationale
and prejudgment of the examiners, is the one the founders of the
United States proposed— and which we have rejected. It's quite
nontheoretical, and hence has a tendency to be exceedingly irri-
tating to our sense of justice— sense of "what ought to be." The
test is simply whether or not a man is competent to manage his
own affairs in the real world about him; is he a successful man
in the pragmatic terms of economic achievement?
The difference between a crackpot and a genius is that a genius
makes a profit— that his idea is economically useful, that it re-
turns more in product than it consumes in raw material.
Now it is perfectly true that competence does not guarantee
benevolence. But it's also true we have, for this argument, agreed
that we re not designing a constitution for Heaven, but for Utopia
—an optimum engineering system, not a perfect system. Inas-
much as no one can define "benevolent," were stuck on that one.
But we can say this with pretty fair assurance: a man who con-
190 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
sistently injures his associates will not have a successful business
for long. A man may hurt his associates quite commonly, and be
highly successful— provided his hurts are, however painful, essen-
tially beneficial. The good dentist is a simple example. But the
man who injures will not be successful for long; the "painless"
dentist who is incompetent, and uses lavish anesthesia to cover up
his butchery, for instance, doesn't hurt his patients, but won't re-
main in business long.
The founders of this nation proposed that a voter must have
five thousand dollars worth of property— a simple economic test,
perfectly pragmatic tied with no theoretical strings about how he
garnered his five thousand dollars. The equivalent today would
be somewhat nearer one hundred thousand dollars.
That particular form of the test is not quite optimum, I think;
instead of a capital-owned test, an earned-income test would be
wiser, probably. A man can inherit property, without inheriting
the good sense of the father who garnered it. But earned-income
is a test of his competence.
It violates our rational-theoretical sense of justice, because not
all men have equal opportunities for education, a start in busi-
ness, et cetera.
But we're seeking a non-theoretical, non- "just", purely prag-
matic test, so that alone would not be an argument against the
Also— to use the dental analogy in another context— if a certain
man wants to be a dentist, and has never had the opportunity to
study the subject, but sets himself up as a dentist, and wants to
work on your teeth . . . why shouldn't he? Is it his fault he never
had an opportunity to go to dental school? Why shouldn't he
start trying out his own, original ideas on your teeth . . . ?
Are you being unfair to him if you refuse to allow him to
practice on you?
And are you being unfair when you refuse to allow a man who
never had an opportunity for an adequate education to practice
on your nation's affairs? Look, friend— this business of running a
nation isn't a game of patty-cake; it's for blood, sweat and tears,
you know. It's sad that the guy didn't have all the opportunities
he might have . . . but the pragmatic fact is that he didn't, and
CONSTITUTION FOR UTOPIA igi
the fact that he cant make a success of his own private affairs is
excellent reason for taking the purely pragmatic, nontheoretical
position that that is, in itself, reason for rejecting his vote on na-
There's another side to this pragmatic test, however; neither
Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, nor Thomas Edi-
son ever had an adequate opportunity for education. The guy
who bellyaches that his failure in life is due to lack of opportunity
has to explain away such successful people as those three before
he has any right to blame all his misfortunes on the hard, cruel
world around. Those three individuals all get the vote, aristocrats,
and formal intellectualists to the contrary notwithstanding. One
un (formally) educated frontiersman, one Negro born a slave,
and one nobody who never got beyond grammar school; three
properly qualified Rulers. They made a success of their private
affairs; let them have a hand in the nation's affairs. We do not
care who their parents were; we need not concern ourselves with
their children, for the children will vote only if they, themselves
make a success of their own private affairs.
Let's make the Test for Rulers simply that the individual's
earned annual income must be in the highest twenty per cent of
the population. This automatically makes them a minority group,
selected by a pragmatic test. It bars no one, on any theoretical or
rationalized grounds whatever; any man who demonstrates that
he can handle his private affairs with more than ordinary success
is a Voter, a Ruler.
The earned-annual-income figure might be determined by
averaging the individual's actual income over the preceding ten
per cent of his life, taken to the nearest year. Thus if someone
eighteen years old has, for two years, been averaging in the top
twenty per cent— he votes. He may be young, but he's obviously
abnormally competent. The system also lops off those who are
falling into senility. It automatically adjusts to inflation and/ or
It isn't perfect; remember we're designing Utopia, not Heaven.
We must not specify how the income is earned; to do so would
put theory-rationalizations back in control. If a man makes fifty
10,2 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
thousand dollars a year as a professional gambler— he votes. Any-
body who guesses right that consistently has a talent the nation
There may be many teachers, ministers, and the like, who by
reason of their dedication to their profession do not make the
required income level. If they're competent teachers and minis-
ters, however, they'll have many votes— through their influence on
their students or parishioners. If they're incompetent, they will
have small influence, and deserve no vote.
The economic test does not guarantee benevolence; it does
guarantee more-than-average competence, when so large a num-
ber as twenty per cent of the population is included. And while
it doesn't guarantee benevolence— it provides a very high prob-
ability, for each successful man is being judged-in-action by his
neighbors and associates. They would not trade with him, or con-
sult him, if his work were consistently injurious.
There are exceptions, those eternally-puzzling areas of human
disagreement between sincerely professed theory, and actual
practice. Prostitution is perhaps the clearest example; for all the
years of civilized history, prostitution has been condemned. It's
been legislated against, and its practitioners scorned ... by the
same population that, through all the years of civilized history
have continued to support in action that ancient and dishonored
The people who voted to keep Prohibition on the books were
also those who contributed to the high income of bootleggers.
There are many such areas of human ambivalence; no theoreti-
cal or rational solution appears to be in sight. The simple fact
remains that, by popular vote-in-action, not in theory, prostitu-
tion, illegal gambling, and various other socially-denounced in-
stitutions continue to win wide popular support.
So . . . Utopia still won't be Heaven. But maybe we can say it
will never be a Blue Nose Hell, either!
O.K., friends— now it's your turn!
The ideas behind many a science-fiction story have revolved
around problems of colonizing other worlds; it might be worth
while to take a look at the history of colonization efforts here on
Earth. We might get some vague idea of what approach to the
problem will not work.
So many times, history is disappointing to people, because it
doesn't tell them what should be, or can be, done— it's almost
entirely a record of tries that failed. Sure that's disappointing—
but it can save a lot of future disappointment to take a look at
the record of what things not to try again!
Actually, of course, history also includes the record of things
that did work . . . but because they did, and we use and accept
them, we don't see them as "problems to be solved." Who needs
answers to "problems" that are no longer troublesome, huh?
We can start with three general situational possibilities; the
planet to be colonized may be uninhabitable by any life form not
already possessing a high-level technology, it may already be in-
habited by subintelligent life forms, or it may have intelligence
The first situation leads normally to a technological station— a
research or technical-resource production system— rather than to
a "colony" in the normal sense. Antarctica, here on Earth, may
have scientific stations, and mining establishments may be in-
stalled—but people aren't going to think of Antarctica as "home."
The Island of Krakatoa isn't apt to be "home," either, however
interesting to vulcanologists and biologists.
What we're really interested in, of course, is the situation in-
volving a planet with intelligent, but subtechnical indigenous life.
(The super-technical inhabitants mean that we won't do any
First, of course, we need a definition of "intelligent inhabitants."
This question is about as easily answered as the one "What do
194 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
you mean . . . 'human?" As of now, it seems to me that one way
to distinguish the merely anthropoid from the humanoid—
whether they have tentacles or sixteen legs!— comes down to the
question of whether they have a society which acts as a quasi-
conscious selective breeding system. If a tribe selects its own
young— as early humans did in their "manhood rites" ceremonies
—the critical step toward true intelligence has been taken. They
have at that point, taken responsibility for their own fate upon
themselves— they have started to determine their own destiny,
right, wrong or indifferent, none the less the fate they are to have
is determined by their own acts.
We'll assume a series of planets having humanoid tribes,
which are definitely beyond the beginnings of intelligence, and
have already developed their own language, verbal traditions
and co-operative cultural systems. There's a range of possibilities
in such a situation.
In simplified terms, the Terran-native relationship established
1. The Terrans simply push out the natives, destroying them
2. The Terrans enslave the natives, and force them to work on
the Terrans' projects— dig their mines, tend their fields, build
their roads, et cetera.
3. The Terrans move in with the natives, start building roads,
digging mines, and sowing fields, hiring natives who work side
by side with the Terrans.
These are three extremes— three pure-state descriptions. None
of them ever has been— or ever can be!— actually applied in its
pure form. But each technique has been tried on Earth, and
studying the results is most interesting indeed!
System #1, pushing out and destroying the natives, is almost
inevitable, do what you, with all good heart and intent, will un-
der certain circumstances. If the cultural-evolutionary gap is too
great, it becomes literally impossible to bridge the gap between
primitive and highly technical cultural types.
Human beings evolved. They didn't suddenly be human be-
ings. Adam and Eve is a lovely legend— but there never was a
First Man who was a Man in the modern sense, Homo sapiens,
who sprang, full-evolved, from some anthropoid mother. Eve's
mother was not a hairy-hided, bandy-legged, knuckle-walking
Cultures evolve, after the humanoid inventors of culture have
themselves evolved; cultures aren't born full-blown either.
Genetics does count. It is perfectly true that there is a distribu-
tion of talents among individuals in any humanoid group— that,
in any humanoid group you will find some individuals brighter
than the stupider individuals of a more highly evolved group.
But that doesn't mean that the two groups have the same mean
Studies of the Australian aborigines have shown that when the
aborigines encounter the high-level technical culture of the Euro-
pean colonists, their own cultural pattern disintegrates. Even
when there is no effort whatever made to break down their primi-
tive culture. The aborigines, however, had a culture so primitive,
when white men first came there, that they had not yet evolved
the nomad herdsman culture— they were, still, strictly wandering
food-gatherers. The economic basis of their culture was still essen-
tially identical with that of gorilla bands. For a period variously
estimated as up to fifty thousand years, the aborigines had been
isolated from the main stream of human cultural development
Curiously, the nearby Maori of New Zealand had a highly
evolved Polynesian-type culture, with highly developed govern-
mental systems, and a well-developed technology.
What happened when European colonists moved into the two
areas is most interesting. Note that the colonists coming to the two
areas were, essentially, of one type— English cultural rebels. Many
of the Australians were "colonists-by-request"— people deported
for being too much of a headache to the home culture. ( Like the
Irishman who was deported to Australia by order of the Queen
. . . and whom Queen Victoria had to greet in full formal State
honors, when he returned twenty-five years later, as the Prime
Minister of Australia! ) The New Zealand colonists and the Aus-
tralians were much of the same type, however. Middle-class
English, Irish and Scotch, largely.
In Australia, the colonists pushed the aborigines out of their
196 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
way, destroying the native culture, taking the land, and driving
the natives into the desert lands.
The same type of colonists, in New Zealand, developed Coloni-
zation Pattern #3— they moved in with the Maoris, worked with
them side by side, and have developed New Zealand on a fully
co-operative, communal basis.
It's worth considering, at least, that the difference was not in
the attitudes of the colonists . . . but the abilities of the natives.
The Australian aborigines could not bridge the immense gap be-
tween their food-gathering by turning over rocks and logs level,
and the technological culture of the Europeans. The Maori could,
and very promptly did.
It is of interest in the current United Nations wrangles about "co-
lonialism" and "colonial powers" that neither the Maori nor the
Australian aborigines are making any complaints.
The complaints are coming loudest from Africa; the complaints
from Asian nations are far less vocal. And, incidentally, the Poly-
nesians generally seem to have little feeling of being victims of
"colonialism"— Hawaii might be taken as an example!
Africa represented, almost entirely, a Type #2 colonization
program— where the Europeans moved in and enslaved the na-
tives. The Europeans moved in, and sought to work the natives—
not work with them. In New Zealand, the Europeans worked
with the Maori— shoulder to shoulder, building a new culture ben-
eficial to both peoples.
In Africa, a very different situation arose. There was the
White, who was Noble, and did no manual work, and then there
was the Black who was Inferior and did menial jobs. The char-
acteristic of the system is that there must be no middle class.
When the British in Kenya took over the highlands area, because
of its favorable climate and rich soil— it became known as the
"White Highlands"— they first drove the natives out, dispossess-
ing them entirely, so that no African was allowed to own land in
the White Highlands. But then they found that they had an
acute shortage of labor to work their fields. They had fine broad
and fertile acres . . . but no labor. The Africans, dispossessed
of the best lands, nevertheless had more than enough land in the
rest of Kenya, and had settled down to working their own very
adequate lands elsewhere. Why, then, should they bother to serve
the British land-holders as laborers, when they could work their
The British solution to this was to limit the amount of land
Africans could own arbitrarily. If the African couldn't have lands
of their own, then they would have to work the estates of the
Given a few generations of this system, and you develop a
nice, stable Feudalism ... if you make very sure no Middle Class
Why didn't the land-rich, but labor-poor British of the White
Highlands invite the several million land-hungry British farmers,
and ex-farmers who'd been crowded into cities, to come to Kenya
and help work the vast, rich lands?
Impossible! It would have meant that Whites would have been
doing the same kind of menial digging-in-the-Earth that was fit
only for Blacks! It would have meant introducing the horrid idea
that a man is a Man not because of his skin, or his racial back-
ground, but because of what he is. It would have meant import-
ing a middle class— creating a mixed-up situation like that in New
But . . . the difficulty is that the problem was not all so one-
sided. Certainly the British fell into a trap of folly in acting as
they did. But, at the same time, the problem was not the same
as the situation in New Zealand.
The Africans were not culturally evolved as far as the Maori.
There was a real problem on both sides; the gap between Euro-
pean and African culture was not as great as that between Euro-
pean and Australian Aborigine— but it wasn't as small as that
between European and Polynesian. Polynesians, when the Euro-
peans first arrived, had already worked out a very high level of
"constitutional monarchy," with wise, and thoroughly workable
democratic procedures for selecting their rulers.
The Africans were, when the Europeans arrived, still in the
level of pure ritual-tabu tribalism— with the exception of a
Moslem-influenced fringe at the borders of the Sahara, and some
of the Zulu tribes in South Africa.
198 collected editorials from Analog
When it's recognized that the same pretty generally homogenous
people— the British— showed, under three different conditions,
the three extreme responses to the colonist-native problem, it be-
gins to appear fairly probable that the nature of the natives has a
great deal to do with the thing! The British in New Zealand re-
sponded by working shoulder to shoulder with the Maori; in Aus-
tralia, they drove out the aborigines, but at no time sought to
enslave them to work for them. Yet these same British, in Africa,
enslaved the Africans.
It's at least reasonable to raise the question whether or not the
Africans were, themselves, responsible for that situation.
The British had gone in in another section of the planet. Now,
the African colonization is quite clearly in very dire straits. Aus-
tralia and New Zealand are certainly healthy and happy and
successful. And so is the British-founded North American coloni-
zation. By contrast, the Spanish-founded North American coloni-
zation achieved nowhere near as high a level of success in the
The United States represents a colony of the Type 1 system—
the natives were pushed out and destroyed ... in major
At this point, I think it's necessary to introduce a new term.
"Genocide" has been defined as the murder of a people. I want
to suggest something else; "geneocide"— the killing off of a gene,
a particular characteristic of a people.
In the United States today, the Mohawk people are, very defi-
nitely, not killed off! Outside my office window, a new skyscraper
is going up— with Mohawk high-steel workers completely domi-
nating the scene. The Mohawk Valley in New York State is still
a Mohawk valley, with neat and prosperous, well-managed farms
run by Mohawk families.
But the deadly Mohawk raiders, the killers that the colonists
of two centuries ago feared and hated, are dead. That character-
istic of the Mohawk people has been destroyed. The Mohawk
high-steel workers have their work, because the Mohawk ap-
pears to be blessed with a genetic immunity to fear of heights—
which leaves his mind free to pay attention to what he's doing
five hundred feet above the ground, instead of battling his in-
ternal self-doubts and so missing his step. As one who cannot
climb a twenty-foot ladder happily, I sincerely envy the Mo-
In other words, in a high-level technical culture, the tendency-
to-be-a-raider is a highly contra-survival characteristic, while that
genetic immunity to fear of heights is a highly pro-survival char-
acteristic. The interaction of the Mohawk people and the highly
successful European cultural system produced a geneocidal ef-
fect—but not a genocidal effect.
Thus when a high-level culture colonizes an area where Type
3 co-operative interchange is not possible, the natives may be
driven out and destroyed— not, however, as a people, but as a
In an individual, the characteristic "homocidal mania" makes
co-operation impossible; in rejecting that individual, we are not
rejecting him, actually, but the intolerable characteristic that we
are unable to separate him from.
If the natives of an area are driven out and destroyed, it's
usually because geneocide is necessary; genocide is not intended
Type 3 cultural interchange can exist only when there is mu-
tual respect and mutual faith-and-trust. Such interchange with a
group such as warrior-raiders is self-evidently impossible. They
have homocidal mania as a Way of Life; you can't establish faith-
and-trust respect with them.
What are the conditions that do produce a mutual co-operative
hybrid cultural system?
When the Puritans first landed here, they learned, and learned
rapidly from the local Indians. They adopted the Town Meeting
system, the technique of planting corn in hills, with a fish for
fertilizer. Both social and technical lessons were freely accepted
The Indians did not learn anywhere nearly as rapidly from the
Europeans. The Indians were happy to teach— to be superior to
the stupid immigrants. But they weren't at all willing to be taught.
The Mohawks were one of the most advanced Indian tribes;
many of them did learn from the "stupid immigrants."
200 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
The Maori were willing to teach . . . and be taught.
Now you must respect a man to learn from him. You do not
have to respect a man to teach him.
But this doesn't mean that you have to respect a man in all
things to learn some things from him. The true test of mutual
respect, then, works out to the test of mutual learning-and-
teaching. Where that exists, men can work side by side. Where
it does not exist, co-operative co-endeavor becomes impossible.
And the failure lies with the side that will not learn.
The American Indians were pushed out by the white colonists
in North America, because it proved impossible to establish co-
endeavor. The Indian would not learn from the White . . . the
Indian wanted to be a Noble Savage, which included not working
for his living, not grubbing in mines for metals, or slaving in work-
shops to forge and shape steel, or stewing vile chemical brews
to make gunpowder.
For some reason, the Noble Savage lost his homeland as a re-
sult. Oh, he liked and happily used the White Man's guns; what
he didn't accept was the White Man's hard work that produced
We might add a new Beatitude: Blessed are the do-it-your-
selfers, for they shall inherit the planets!
The Spanish, in the Conquest of America, never got anywhere
at all in any of the areas where there was not an already-
developed hard-working civilization. The Aztecs, the Mayans, the
Incas— these people worked and built their cities. The North
American Indians had not reached that level of cultural evolu-
tion; the North American Indians could not be enslaved, and the
Spanish wanted only slave-worked areas. They were definitely
not do-it-yourself addicts.
The Spanish enslaved the less-highly-evolved cultures they en-
countered . . . and here, the Spanish were playing the Noble
Savage! They didn't want to work; they made the Aztecs and
the Incas work, they taught the natives to build with new tech-
niques, to mine iron, make steel tools, and establish industry.
Curiously, the Noble Spanish lost their new homelands, as a
Recommended reading on the situation in Africa today is Louis
E. Lomax's small and very cogent book, "The Reluctant African."
Lomax is an American Negro reporter, and a professor of Phi-
losophy; he was in a position to observe data, and to evaluate
what he observed, when he went through the length of Africa
in i960. He reports one interesting and revealing incident— of a
Ghana representative somewhat sneeringly commenting on the
lower standards of living in Liberia and Ethiopia, the two Afri-
can nations that have been independent for more than a few
years. The Liberian representative replied, "We have not had the
benefits of colonialism, as you have."
It was the Ghana natives who built the roads, the cities, the
telephone exchanges, the power plants . . . but it was Europeans
who taught them how, and supplied the capital— which means
the tools to make those tools, and the skilled labor to use them
The Africans are in a somewhat peculiar position; they were
not willing learners— as were the Maori— nor did they build what
they now have themselves. (As the Aztecs and Incas had built
even before the Spanish came.)
It rather looks as though whether Colonization System 1, 2, or
3 is installed depends far more on the nature of the natives, than
on the determination or choice of the colonists. It was not a British
policy to enslave the local natives— it was a Kenya policy, an
African-area policy. But the same British acted differently in Aus-
tralia, North America and New Zealand . . . because the natives
were entirely different.
When colonists go into an area— whether it be a continent or
an alien planet— where the natives are too far below the cultural
level of the colonists, the natives will be pushed aside. Type 1
colonization system results.
When the natives are somewhat higher, they will be enslaved
—whether the colonists so choose or not, it appears. And that will,
inevitably, result in the destruction of the colony, and a rapid
rise in the cultural and living standards of the enslaved natives!
In the long run the natives benefit far more than the enslaving
If the cultural gap between natives and colonists is not too
202 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
great, the colonists and natives will fall into the third pattern-
mutual teaching and learning, and co-endeavor to establish a
new, and vigorous hybrid culture. New Zealand, Hawaii, and
Alaska all represent that pattern.
At first glance, it may appear that the Eskimo had a very primi-
tive culture indeed; in many respects he certainly did. But the
Eskimo was a technologist par excellence; in his environment, a
highly evolved social pattern wasn't essential to survival— but a
highly evolved technology darned well was! The Eskimo has
proven to have a fantastic degree of innate mechanical aptitude;
a group of Eskimos who had never before seen an outboard en-
gine or any other gasoline engine has been known to disassemble
the device completely, and reassemble it in perfect running order.
The Eskimo may have been retarded in his social development
—but the masterpieces of mechanical engineering the Eskimo
achieved demonstrate beyond doubt that they were a highly de-
veloped people. They have been delighted to study and learn the
White Man s engineering technology— and willing too, to teach
the White Man their highly developed skills of arctic survival.
In consequence, the Eskimo, like the Maori, has neither been
driven out, nor enslaved. People don't tend to enslave or deport
their schoolmates— their fellow-learners.
I think that if I were the average Vietnamese, I'd want the Com-
munists to hurry up and win the civil war, and get the Americans
North Viet Nam is peaceful, has a stable government, clearly
understood operational system, and very little confusion. A
simple-minded man there is told what the score is, what he has to
do, and how he is to do it, and all he has to do is carry it out, and
things work out reasonably adequately.
In South Viet Nam, the same simple-minded man doesn't know
which end is up, and it wouldn't do him any good to know, be-
cause next week some other end will be up. The Saigon govern-
ment-as-of-today collects some taxes, then the Viet Cong bush-
whacks the government troops, takes over, and collects some
taxes. The Viet Cong has been collecting tolls for several months
on a major highway between Saigon and one of the important
northern cities. Theoretically, the highway belongs to the Saigon
government, but they can't hold it and the Viet Cong can.
The Buddhists want the Communists to take over, I suspect,
partly because the Communists are strongly against religion in
the Catholic sense. In most early-citizen-level cultures— Renais-
sance Europe for instance— "freedom of religion" means that my
religion is free to stamp out any and all rivals. Since Buddhism is
closer to being a philosophy than a revealed religion, it's more
compliant to Communist doctrine, and would, therefore, be less
obnoxious to Communist bureaucrats.
The major trouble, however, lies in the fact that the cultural
level of Viet Nam's people is not something Americans under-
stand, and the American political philosophy is about as appro-
priate to them as snowshoes on a gazelle.
We Americans are sort of sold on the idea of Equality for All,
204 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
and Every Man His Own Philosopher. It doesn't work any too
well, even for us— and we represent a cultural evolution that
passed through the feuding-petty-states phase some five hundred
years ago. (What's happening in southeast Asia today is very
similar to what happened in southwest Eurasia— i.e., the Euro-
pean peninsula of Asia— around 1200 to 1600. )
In the first place, the Equalitarian doctrine is probably fantasy,
a flat contradiction of known reality. Imposing a fantasy on a hu-
man population is always cruel; the further removed from reality
the fantasy is, the more vicious the cruelty resulting. The Equali-
tarian philosophy is somewhat like the Greek legend of the Bed
of Procrustes. The tale hath it that Procrustes was a barbarian
highwayman who, when he captured some traveling merchant,
would entertain his captive at dinner— dining on the best of the
victim's supplies— and then put him to bed in Procrustes' guest
bed. If the captive was a little too short for the bed, he was
stretched to fit; if he was too long for the bed, he was sawed off to
Now if a man were a half -inch too short, it wouldn't be com-
fortable, but it wouldn't be really unendurable; if he were four or
five inches too short, the effect would be very different indeed.
Of course, being even one inch too long produced an intolerable
The fantasy of Equalitarianism insists that the distribution of
characteristics in a human population has a distribution curve
It's flatly-contradictory-to-fact, because every test that biolo-
gists, sociologists, psychologists, and other life-sciences research-
ers have made shows that all biological organisms show a distri-
bution curve approaching this:
A population on whom the fantasy-equality curve is forcefully
imposed has been strapped into a Procrustean bed, and the short
stretched to fit, the long sawed down to size, and to hell with
what this does to the victims.
One of the worst aspects of this is that the philosophy that all
men are equal has the logical corollary that "Since I am a man,
and all men are equal, I know what all men are and want."
And naturally, if some men don't want what you want, that
simply means that they should be made to, because that's what's
good for them, since it's good for you and all men are equal.
Take a look at that second curve, remember that's the one that
objective experiment shows exists in any biological population
with respect to any measurable characteristic. This includes meas-
urable psychological characteristics.
To date, we cannot measure many exceedingly important sub-
jective characteristics; tiierefore it is impossible to prove in any
rigorous way that subjective characteristics vary among individu-
als to the same degree, or in a similar manner. But the weight of
evidence strongly suggests that that sort of curve applies equally
to such purely subjective phenomena as the capacity for love,
the pleasure an individual derives from doing X or avoiding do-
ing Y, et cetera.
Now since only individuals on the higher end of the distribu-
tion curve have the talent necessary to achieve effective leader-
ship, effective communication, and effective self-expression
against the competition of everyone else trying to get their ideas
attended to— the ideas that float around in a culture represent the
thinking of only the high end of the distribution curve.
How many morons have made their feelings clearly and ef-
fectively understood by the general population? About the best
they ever achieve is when some demagogue figures out a way to
win the moron vote by promising to fulfill some inarticulate but
intense desire of the morons. He does so not because it's good for
206 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
the morons— it generally isn't, of course— but because the resulting
moron vote is good for him.
Now one of the greatest desires of the low end of the distribu-
tion curve is a deep yearning for stability and security and free-
dom from having to solve new problems. Freedom from having
to generate opinions, make decisions, and think out solutions to
problems. He wants a stable situation, with stable, workable and
understandable (i.e., memorizable) answers. The answers don't
have to be good; they simply have to be trustworthy.
The deepest cruelty to this type of man is being stretched on
the Procrustean rack that forces him to make his own decisions.
"These decisions are killing me!" as the old gag puts it.
An example right here in the United States is the question of
"Fair Trade" pricing. Basically, this is a state-law backed guaran-
tee that the customer shall always be forced to pay an inflated
price for merchandise, said inflated price being required by law
so that an efficient merchant cannot sell the goods at a lower profit
That the merchants would be in favor of such a law seems
obvious; but why were these "Fair Trade" laws, which assured
the consumer that he would be equally gouged by all merchants
popular with the consumers? That seems utterly incredible,
doesn't it? Yet they were; consumers supported and applauded
those laws that assured them that they'd get stuck with the same
merchant's profit margin everywhere!
Actually, it wasn't consumer groups that broke down the "Fair
Trade" laws— it was merchant groups! The merchants were the
ones who worked to have their inflated-profits guarantees re-
Reason: Under "Fair Trade" laws, a man didn't have to shop
around, judge quality and judge reliability of the merchant, or
take trouble checking to see if he couldn't find a more efficient
merchant who could operate on a lower profit margin. He could
go into the first store he saw, say "Gimme one of them!", and walk
out assured that he wouldn't find his next door neighbor had the
same thing that he'd bought ten or twenty dollars cheaper from a
more efficient merchant.
It relieved the consumer of the pressure to use judgment and
make decisions. It cost him an extra 50% or so— but he was happy
to pay that to be relieved of the problem of deciding.
Successful and efficient merchants get that way by having a
high ability to make astute decisions, and accurately evaluated
judgments. They have the talent in high degree— and they enjoy
using it, as any man enjoys doing what he has a special talent
for. The successful merchants wanted to be able to use their
talent— and wanted, therefore, to get free of the rigid rules of
"Fair Trade" pricing.
People are not all equal. You may hold that the man who wants
to serve another, have someone else tell him what to do, and
when to do it is a vile, slavish, servile, despicable, not-a-real-man
type. And so you make a decision for him, and command him to
make his own decisions, and not listen to the instructions of wiser
men— tell him he must stand up on his own feet, and think for
himself. That's what's good for you, isn't it? And all men are
equal, so it must be good for him, too, mustn't it? Just because
he's a moron who isn't capable of such decisions is no reason why
he should be relieved of the responsibility, is it? Make him do itl
Lash him with scorn and public rejection and demean him if he
tries to find someone he can trust and rely on and be loyal to. You
wouldn't like to be that way, so obviously ( all men being equal )
he shouldn't like it; it isn't good for you, so you know it isn't good
Give him a slogan to be loyal to, instead of a judicious human
being. Give him a slogan like "All men are equal!" that he can
put his faith in, because slogans are always reliable, they always
Our culture descends partly from the Roman and partly from
the Jewish; the Christian philosophy is a hybrid of the two. Like
most hybrids, it has some of the hybrid vigor resultant from com-
bining good characteristics from both— and some of the weak-
nesses resultant from including the worst of each.
One of the worst we got straight from the Romans— who were
great organizers, and lousy philosophers. That's the curious con-
cept that The Law Is Infallible. (The Catholic Church has that
as a doctrine, explicitly expressed, in terms of Papal Infallibility
in matters of Faith.)
208 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
A simple, clear, and yet rather subtle example of that doctrine
of Legal Infallibility is the fact that if a man is tried and con-
victed of a crime, and it is later discovered that it was a case of
mistaken identity— the wrong man was convicted— the Governor
of the State signs a pardon!
How can you pardon a man for something he didn't do?
It's the only thing you can do under the hidden-postulate rule
that the Law is Infallible. You can't sign a Certificate of Exonera-
tion; that would mean that the Law had been wrong!
A couple centuries ago, the real Sheriff of Nottingham ( not the
legendary one of Robin Hood fame!) was hanged for murder,
because he had executed a tried and convicted criminal, acting
on a death warrant that proved to have been improperly made
out. Since he had killed a man without proper warrant, the exact
punctilio of the Law (which is infallible, of course) had been
violated, so he was guilty of murder, q.e.d.— with all the organized
logic of the ancient Romans.
This led to the establishment of the Court of The King's Con-
science, or Court of Equity, wherein not Law, but Justice reigns.
In "Merchant of Venice," Antonio is saved from losing a pound
of flesh when Portia brings a point of legal punctilio to bear; Shy-
lock can have the flesh only if he can take it without a drop of
blood being spilled.
The ancient Jewish tradition— which the Moslem tradition
maintained, since it didn't go through the Romanization that
Christianity did— holds that the law must never be used to de-
stroy a man— i.e., that the purpose of Law is to achieve Justice,
not mere logic.
The concept of "A government of Laws, not of Men," is a Chris-
tian concept— and means "I want to be ruled by a computer, not
The Jewish-Moslem tradition would never have hung the Sher-
iff of Nottingham— and if Shylock had been a merchant of Con-
stantinople, instead of Venice, he'd have collected his pound of
flesh. Under the Moslem tradition, Antonio would have been
guilty of trying to welch on a bet he'd made, simply because he
found he was about to lose it.
One result of the Christian doctrine of the Infallibility of the
Law is that we have to have a trick correcting device we call
"Mercy." Mercy's function is like that of the Governor's "pardon"
for a man proven innocent— to allow a degree of Justice to be
achieved when the Law, in strict application, would be irrational.
A recent case, for example: A man was married, and had sev-
eral children— and one day, disappeared. A decade later he was
discovered in another city, married to another woman, estab-
lished in another business.
Now here is a clear case of bigamy. The Law prescribes penal-
ties for bigamy.
But in this case it was clearly demonstrated that the man had
had an accident, and suffered total amnesia; psychiatric examina-
tion established that he had no memory whatsoever of his previ-
This is no problem under the Jewish-Moslem tradition; justice
is readily apparent.
Under our rigid Infallible Law doctrine, justice can be
achieved only through "pardon," by application of mercy.
Mercy is, in very large measure, a rationalization device by
which we achieve a necessary result without admitting the un-
pleasant truth— that the Law can, indeed, be an ass.
By a simple extension of this principle, not only is Law infallible,
but philosophical doctrines, and slogans are endowed with the
same mantle of Infallibility. Thus Democracy is Always The Right
Answer. And Equality For All Men must be applied everywhere,
however many people it ruins.
And Americans go into Southeast Asia, with those very alien
cultural concepts driving them and the American people at home
demanding that American statesmen apply those Eternal And
Infallible Truths. And Southeast Asia has philosophical concepts,
and problems, that Americans don't appreciate, and know must
be wrong, because Americans know the Great Truths.
The term "imperialists" that is so freely applied to Americans
by the non-European section of the world is completely false.
We aren't; we know it, and the Europeans— who share our cul-
tural traditions— know it.
It's not imperialism— it's a fantastic arrogance! We accept the
210 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
doctrine of "I am my brother's keeper," and try to live up to it.
Only— which the Thoughtless Liberal slogan-quoters overlook!—
a "keeper" is someone who cares for and directs and controls
someone who is incompetent or irresponsible, for that persons
own good as the keeper sees it.
Works fine, to the great advantage of all, if the keeper is right.
But it turns into a cruel Procrustean Bed if the keeper happens
to be wrong.
Remember that Torquemada, the Spanish Inquisitioner, tor-
tured and dismembered heretics in a great effort to make those
poor sinners see their mistake, and confess their sins and shrive
their souls. Because he knew that it was far, far more important
to prepare for the eternal life to come than to be comfortable and
healthy in this life. He was his brother s keeper, striving to rescue
those incompetent and irresponsible souls from the danger of
Procrustes was at least aware that he wasn't helping his vic-
tims! His arrogance was as nothing to that of Torquemada.
We Americans are arrogant in Southeast Asia. Our governmen-
tal concepts are completely inapplicable; our ideas of what's
good for people apply only to people at a particular stage of cul-
tural evolution— ours. What's good for a twenty-year-old genius
isn't good for a twenty-year-old moron, and vice versa. What's
good for a normal ten year old is a cruel imposition on a normal
twenty-year-old. People— and cultures— are not equal. They
shouldn't be; to think they should, or are, is to believe in an ab-
solute fantasy— a fantasy any living-sciences student can prove
completely. The distribution curve applies to all biological sys-
tems—and a culture is a biological system, whether it's in a Petri
dish or a nation.
South Viet Nam quite obviously needs not a civilian democracy
—which we arrogant Americans have sought to compel. The coups
and countercoups would be utterly ridiculous— if they weren't
Our efforts in the Congo have been accused of "imperialism,"
and know that charge to be false. What we've missed is that the
correct charge is "arrogance" and, perhaps, "Procrusteanism." Or
maybe we should call it "Keeperism." "For Their Own Good!" is
a vicious concept, when it means stretching the victim to fit a
bed that fits us so comfortably.
What would we do if we should land on some alien planet, and
find the local native race practices polygamy? Overlook the rele-
vant fact that this race happens to have a two-to-one female-to-
male birth ratio, and impose on them the Good Way of monog-
amy? How shall we do it— kill off half the girl babies at birth, so
the birth ratio becomes the Right One? How will our local ad-
ministrators handle this problem— and satisfy the Folks Back
Home who Know What's Right because they've grown up with
Infallible Laws? Will those Folks Back Home allow the adminis-
trators to maintain that awful-hideous-immoral system of po-
It's a lot easier to see the problems when we transplant them
to a visibly-alien environment— but they're fundamentally the
problems we're faced with on Earth.
Why is North Viet Nam so much less turbulent than South
Viet Nam? "Well of course! They've got a tyrannical military
dictatorship of oppressive Communists holding them in suppres-
Oh? That there's a military dictatorship of Communists is un-
questionably true. But as I say— if I were an average Vietnamese,
I'd prefer that "suppression" to the tragic-opera coup and coun-
tercoup that the South Vietnamese have to try to live with.
Indo-China, under the French, was reasonably integrated and
peaceful— because the French supplied the military dictatorship
force to keep it that way. It fit the Vietnamese about the way a
French sabot— the wooden shoe— would fit the barefoot peasants.
But it did provide something stable and organized.
Remember that American consumers wanted "Fair Trade" laws
that guaranteed the merchants would have to gouge them for in-
flated profits— because they wanted organization that freed them
from having to make decisions and work out problems. That
American workmen want unions, that take care of their prob-
lems, even when those unions are run by crooks who gouge them
and steal half the union funds.
Under such a system, the people involved know who's gouging
212 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
them, and the gougers give them, at least, some stability in re-
turn for a tolerable gouge.
Under our idealistic system that we've been imposing on South
Viet Nam, we've given them a guarantee of no stability, and im-
posed on them a you-have-to-make-decisions plan.
And, very simply, they don't want it.
Incidentally, it's of interest that the ex-French colonies— and ex-
Belgian, who have a very closely allied philosophy— around the
world have shown a vastly greater degree of explosive turmoil,
when returned to their own devices, than have the ex-British
It's interesting then to compare the British tradition of domes-
tic self-discipline, of individual responsibility, with French tradi-
tions—as manifested, for example, in the Frenchman's approach
to taxes. The French government gave up trying to get French-
men to be even remotely honest in reporting taxes, and uses a
system whereby the tax collector bases the income tax assessed
against an individual on the outward manifestations of income.
His income tax is based on an estimate of the value of his house,
what kind of car(s) he drives, servants employed, his wardrobe,
et cetera. What the tax-collector misses on misers, they make up
The British have a deeply implanted tradition of individual
personal responsibility and law-abiding behavior.
Darned if it doesn't look like they succeeded in transplanting
at least some of that in their colonies!
Viet Nam, being an ex-French colony, has a rather low index of
respect for the central government and the honesty of bureauc-
racy—because the citizen considers it his right and sensible duty
to cheat where he can. Naturally, he expects the same from the
bureaucrat. If caught, he will, of course, pay up graciously; after
all, it's the way the game is played.
On top of this is a layer of Communist indoctrination.
Under it is five thousand years of oriental-style feudalism, with
And we Know The Right Answers for these people?
All evidence indicates that what's needed is a strongly central-
ized military dictatorship, with a powerful and stable bureaucracy
that is rigidly honest. (Enforced by death penalties, not slaps on
the wrist and fines. ) You don't get that sort of rigid honesty, with
enforcement that means enforcement, without a military system.
A civilian system wont do it— and the Vietnamese won't have
any trust-respect for a civilian system. (They had one for years;
they know about those.)
It also requires a powerful, oppressive military dictatorship to
make the Montagnards co-operate with the lowland farmers, and
the demeaned and rejected fishermen, and the city people. The
city-people don't respect those backwoodsmen, or the peasants-
on-the-farms, or the smelly fishermen. The fisherman has no trust
or respect for the landlubbers of any stripe. And, of course, the
peasants know that all non-farmers are out to cheat him of his
land, his produce, and his freedom.
These people arent Americans, with American traditions and
experiences. They're an alien people, with alien traditions— alien
even to each other!— and a lifetime of experiences of a very dif-
Democracy in Viet Nam? Dont be so stupid! In a culture-
conglomerate wherein every group knows that there are only two
possible situations— either you are Exploited or you are powerful
and are an Exploiter? That's not Communist indoctrination— it's
their life experience! Democracy? That means, to them, that die
gang that gets the most votes has a right to destroy their rivals.
Remember the exact and literal interpretation of Democracy
says it's "Rule by the majority." O.K.— and the Nazi majority in
Germany passed laws that made killing Jews legal. That's Democ-
racy in Action, bub— and don't forget it! You may forget it, and
it may not be what you mean by Democracy in Action— but take
a wide-open-eye-and-mind look at the Emerging Nations and
how they practice Democracy in Action. Particularly the ex-
French colonies, with a lower index of individual responsibility.
Isn't that definition of Democracy In Action precisely what
they've tended to try to put into action?
If you were an average Vietnamese, which would you prefer?
Democracy In Action or Communism?
Sure, there are hundreds of alternative choices besides those
two. But remember— if you were an average Vietnamese, you
214 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
wouldn't know about those; those two you Ve had experience with.
The problem isn't American Imperialism.
But the problem of American Keeperism is very real. We know
all the answers, we do. That's why we have no troubles of our
own at home, and so can tell everybody else how they should be
running their affairs. Even if those other people are very widely
different from ourselves, because we know they aren't since All
Men Are Equal.
A FINAL EXAMINATION
WE MUST STUDY PSI
The essential concept of truth-seeking is that a truth must be ac-
cepted, whether it is favorable or unfavorable, desired or dreaded,
whether it means riches and happiness, or stark madness. There
is, in the concept of the Scientific Method, the fundamental
proposition that there are Laws in an ordered Universe; that we
must learn those laws— whether we like them or not.
During the last four years, I've been investigating psi; I started
the investigation largely because it has been a background ele-
ment in science fiction, almost from the start. Telepathy has been
stock business. E. E. Smith's Lensman series was based primarily
on psi— for the Lens itself is, essentially, a psi machine.
With the development of science into engineering proceed-
ing at the pace it has, by 1950 the major developments that science
fiction had been forecasting were definitely under engineering
—not theoretical— study. It was time for us to move on, if we were
to fulfill our function as a frontier literature.
To some extent, science fiction moved on into the social sciences
—sociology, anthropology and psychology.
Item: Dr. Rhine originally started his investigation of psi be-
cause, as a professional psychologist, he had come to the con-
clusion that psychology-as-such lacked an essential element.
You would have an exceedingly hard time working out biochem-
istry, if your chemistry hadn't discovered nitrogen, for example.
Rhine's studies led him to suspect something about as important
as nitrogen to biochemistry was missing from psychology.
Item: Every anthropologist is aware of the important part
magic— the psi phenomena under their older name— plays in hu-
Item: Every sociologist is aware that you can't make a popula-
tion behave in a logical manner— cultural superstitions defy log-
ical analysis, logical argument, and logical forces.
2l8 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
I was forced back toward psi, even when science fiction started
toward the social sciences.
Since I published the editorial in the February 1956 issue, sug-
gesting running material on psi machines, I have been receiving
quantities of information, from hundreds of sources.
I have an advantage that few people have; there are people
all over this planet reading Astounding, and for many it evidently
has a veiy personal meaning. I hear from them. I can't answer
all; many times no individual letter, or clipping, or reprint sent
me has much specific value. But they, taken together, form a
sort of Ishihara Color Vision Test phenomenon; no one mass of
any one color on the Ishihara Color test disks has any meaning-
it's the pattern made of hundreds of individually meaningless
dots of pastel color that build the pattern.
I've written a bit about the Hieronymus machine; recendy
we ran an item about the pipe-locators used by W. F. Marklund
of the City of Flint, Michigan. A considerable number of people
tried the Hieronymus machine; it proved to be a repeatable ex-
periment in the best scientific sense. Individuals instructed only
by the printed word were able to duplicate the phenomena.
But I have not reported even one per cent of the data that
has come to my attention. I visited the George de la Warr labora-
tories when I was in England for the 1957 Science Fiction Con-
vention. I've visited other psi-machine laboratories in Canada,
and the United States. I've watched illegal— but beneficial!—
medical diagnosis and treatment by psi machine. I've seen records
of psi machines used to destroy insect pests in crops.
That, by the way, was a particularly interesting item. The
State Department of Agriculture checkers were asked to check
the experiment. They did so; standard Department of Agricul-
ture evaluation techniques were used— alternate strips on farms
scattered over five counties— some ninety farms in all— were
treated, while intervening strips were left untreated as control
patches. The checks were made at intervals by Department of
At the end of die season, tiieir figures showed that ninety-five
per cent of the Japanese Beetles on die test plots had been killed.
And at that point, for the first time, the Department of Agri-
we must' study psi 219
culture learned that their checks had not been made on a new
The Department immediately refused to acknowledge the re-
sults of their tests. There's no use writing me to ask which state
it was, because that state department will deny the check's valid-
The treatment was made by treatment of photographs, at dis-
tances ranging from one hundred twenty feet to five hundred
This treatment has, incidentally, shown equally sound evidence
of its ability to successfully combat Dutch Elm Disease, and Oak
Wilt, which cannot be stopped by any orthodox technique.
Any anthropologist can tell you that the "superstitions" or magical
concepts of North American Indians, Australian aborigines, Afri-
can Negroes, Chilean Indians, the ancient Chinese, the early
Norse, the Polynesians, and the Mediterranean peoples contain
many identical concepts. These peoples have not had commu-
nication for many thousands of years— particularly the Australian
Now while I do hold that democracy can go too far, I also hold
that democracy has a great, deep value— and the essential of that
value might be phrased "You cant fool all the people very long."
A completely functionless belief won't fool all the people for tens
of thousands of years.
There must be a factor in the Universe itself which those im-
mensely widely scattered peoples have, independently, experi-
enced, and experienced with sufficient regularity to make those
concepts remain part of human cultures.
Ours is the only culture that officially denies Magic. And . . .
ours does not, by several millennia, qualify as a "very long" cul-
ture. The denial of magic is only about three centuries old. You
can fool a large percentage of a people for that short a period
The psi machines I've encountered work— and they work on
precisely the same ancient laws of Magic that those wide-scattered
peoples have, independently, accepted.
I've had that point countered by "Yes, but the common factor
220 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
is the nature of Man— he wants it to work that way! Therefore
peoples everywhere have accepted it. It's human nature, not
reality, at world"
Oh? Then how come human nature evolved that tendency?
How come no mutations came along to produce a human variant
without that time-effort-energy wasting tendency, huh? Why is
it, then, that no human culture, anywhere, has survived even
three generations after giving up the interrelated concepts of
magic and religion?
If that is, as stated, a fundamental of human nature . . . why?
We can understand why resistance to disease is a fundamental of
human nature— and why a breed that loses that resistance dies
All right— 111 accept that the explanation for the similarity of
beliefs among Australian aborigines, Tierra del Fuegians, Afri-
cans, Eskimos and Polynesians is due solely to the fundamental
similarity of human nature the whole world over.
Why is human nature that way?
And so long as psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists
insist "We know it shouldn't be that way," without bothering to
study why all human peoples are that way . . . why, so long they
are apt to miss the fundamentals of the fields they are interested
You cannot escape studying Magic, denying that there is any
common phenomenon in the Universe, by saying "It's just human
nature." Because if you say that, then you are duty-bound to ex-
plain why human nature continues to be that way, millennium
after millennium. If it is in truth wasted effort, then any people
who abandoned magic would have conserved that effort for other
things, and would have been able to displace the competing
Why is Magic fundamental in all human peoples?
I suggest that the answer is "Because there is a set of phenom-
ena in the Universe that requires intelligent entities to have that
Like it or not, Marklund in Flint, power company engineers
in England, steel plant maintenance engineers in Bethlehem,
WE "MUST" STUDY PSI 221
^ 1 8". *j
V A " copper tube U
■ '* v * ~ i/ 8 " metal rod
Make Two aluminum-iron
PSIONIC BURIED PIPE LOCATORS
The Pipe Locator drawing above shows the type used by many practic-
ing utilities engineers, the not-inhibited-by-theory types, for locating
buried pipes and/or cables. In use, they are held like a two-gun West-
erner's two guns, pointing straight ahead, and at about chest height.
Walk back and forth across the area under investigation, trying to inter-
sect the line of the hunted pipe. The rods will swing to parallel the line
of the pipe as you cross it— either swinging away from each other, or
crossing each other. Which reaction turns up seems to depend on the
individual, not on the rods.
About eighty per cent of the adults seem to get results; if you don't,
let your friends and associates try.
Using them seems to be somewhat like "learning to hear"; anyone
with functional ears can hear— but it takes some training to interpret
what you hear; e. g., distinguishing the sounds produced by a thrush
from those of a robin or blue jay. At first use of the rods, you'll tend to
react to all buried conduits; with practice, you'll become more sophisti-
cated in interpretation, and distinguish between, say, water, gas, and
The operation of these rods is scientifically impossible and is, logi-
cally, nonsense. This is extremely interesting, because they work— which,
under the rules of the Scientific Method, means that the theory that
Science embraces all real phenomena has encountered the fact that it
doesn't, and must, therefore, be abandoned. Suggested modification; Sci-
ence and only Science explains many real phenomena.
Pennsylvania, and in a hundred other places, use dowsing rods to
locate underground lines that they are interested in. An engineer
with a job to do doesn't give a damn whether the tool he uses is
scientifically sound; he does care that it works for him.
And they're very strange tools indeed; for Marklund, the rods
locate water pipes, and don't react to buried power cables. For
power company engineers, they react faithfully to buried cables,
and are not thrown off by buried water, gas, or sewer pipes. For
the steel company engineers, they locate buried pipes of any
kind; the engineers want to know where the pipes are so that,
in driving piling, they won't hit them.
Science has ducked the issue of studying psi very simply; it has
denied that there is any phenomenon to study.
222 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
In doing so, it is denying a truth— an unpleasant, perhaps
The Department of Agriculture I mentioned didn't continue
their investigations— they denied them.
The engineering use of dowsing rods is widespread today, in
the United States, in every state of the Union. There are com-
panies manufacturing dowsing rods such as Marklund uses, and
they can be bought from suppliers anywhere in the country.
One company manufacturing them is the Jayco Company, of
Birmingham, Michigan; they sell them as the Ayco Pipe Loca-
They are used, strictly at the engineering rule-of-thumb level,
by men who find they do a job no other known device will do.
They are, simply, pragmatically economical of time and effort.
Such men will not waste their time and effort convincing you they
work; they have a job to do, and if you don't like their tools, that
is, of course, your business, so far as they're concerned.
Science, I can say flatly, with plenty of solid evidence to back
it up, is wrong. Dowsing rods, used to locate pipes underground,
do work. Science is simply, explicitly, wrong in denying the
And this, I propose, is the place that we must start study-
ing. We must, whether we like it or not— and believe me, from
what little studying I've done, we won't like it.
Psi phenomena exist at the same level that emotion, desire,
and want do, as far as I can make out. If that's the case, then in
studying the psi phenomena, you're studying the level which men,
today, hold to be the ultimate level of privacy— Subjective Reality.
An understanding of the laws of this level would make it possible
to manipulate desire, change attitudes, control emotions.
And that, of course, no man wants possible.
Of all the things Logic and Philosophy and Science have investi-
gated, Emotion, certainly one of the most tremendously important
in all human affairs, has been least investigated. Essentially,
Science and Logic and Philosophy have agreed on only one thing
for sure; "It shouldn't exist! Get rid of it! It just fouls everything
beyond hope of straightening out! Stop it— destroy it— stamp it
WE MUST STUDY PSI 223
Psychology, of course, has had to deal with the anathematized
stuff. But even psychology seeks to eliminate it from patients;
it's an unfortunate, intractable human weakness that must be
A logician's attitude toward emotion is startlingly similar to
that of a Victorian maiden lady toward Sex. The nasty stuff
shouldn't exist, and certainly decent people won't talk about it or
Emotion is, essentially, beyond any possibility of logical analy-
sis; it's an individual's reaction to his perception of subjective
reality. And so long as "subjective" has the semantic connotation
of "not real," logic certainly isn't going to be able to get a real
solution to the problem.
I suggest that Subjective Reality bears the same relationship to
Objective reality that field-forces do to matter. Field forces are
not material; they obey wildly different laws— but they do obey
I suggest that Subjective Reality is a true, inherent level of
reality in the Universe. It's no more something exclusively gen-
erated by human minds than "organic" chemical compounds were
exclusively generated by living organisms. For all men knew, as
little as one hundred fifty years ago, the ability to perceive
light was a subjective mystery; no known inorganic system had
It took the development of quantum physics to explain the in-
teraction of electromagnetic radiation and matter sufficiently to
make photoelectric cells possible. Eyes, however, had been
around for some megayears before that.
To date, no interaction between psi forces and either material
or fieldforce phenomena has ever been discovered. Considering
the extreme resistance to serious study of psi phenomena, how-
ever, that's not exactly surprising. Isaac Newton tried, Oliver
Lodge tried— and their efforts in that direction have been hushed
up as the indiscretions of two otherwise great men. Probably they
didn't have enough data on either psi phenomena or physics
when they worked; maybe something more useful could be
And we must achieve it.
224 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Every human effort to build a dynamically stable civilization—
every effort, without exception— has foundered on the problem of
emotions, desires, and the demogoguery that those uncontrolled
wild variables introduce.
And the very best advice Logicians, Philosophers and Scientists
have had has been . . . "There shouldn't be any such things! Sup-
press diem! Deny them! Do away with them!"
And, every time without exception, they have, instead, done
away witii the philosophers, logicians, scientists and egg-heads.
You can't control a phenomenon by denying its existence. You
can't control it by suppressing it either; suppression simply causes
an energy-storage effect that leads to eventual explosive release.
If there's a river flowing through a valley where you want to build
a city, it's rather futile to simply build a dam to block the river;
eventually the dam will be burst by the building pressure, and
the city wiped out in the resultant flood.
A phenomenon can be controlled only by acknowledging it,
studying it, understanding it, and directing it usefully. Properly
handled, that river should be dammed, channeled through tur-
bines, and made to supply the city with light and power.
But emotion is the despair of logicians; it is inherently non-
logical. It's the effort to force it into logic-only channels that
causes the explosions that wreck every culture Man has ever built.
Uniformly, repeatedly, one hundred per cent of the cases on
Evidently what we need is a nonlogical technique of analytical
thinking— a method of thinking that is more-than-logical. A not-
Trouble is, every individual is internally convinced that he's al-
ready solved the problem, and is using it right now. And is
emotionally willing to work, fight, and, in fact, die for its con-
clusions. His method of fighting may, for emotional reasons, be
limited to a simple absolute refusal, even if he is killed for it—
but Ghandi demonstrated that that, too, is a means of destructive
We must study psi, because it is the only objectively observ-
able set of phenomena stemming from subjective forces.
Logic was developed and corrected and forged into a reliable
WE MUST STUDY PSI 225
tool because objectively observable phenomena could be used
as a check on the validity of logical methods. Logic that didn't
correlate with objective phenomena could be eliminated, and
logical methods that did work could be proved— in the more an-
cient meaning of "tested"— by objective experience.
The psi phenomena represent subjective phenomena that can
be observed objectively.
When a man uses dowsing rods, the rods don't do anything but
act as indicators— the man does it. He uses some subjective-level-
of-the-universe phenomena; he does it, not the rods.
But he does something that isn't scientific, in the truest sense
of that statement; the phenomena involved are hyper-scientific.
If "natural" and "scientific" are correlated on a one-to-one basis,
then what he does is truly supernatural.
Fine; now we know that, and acknowledge that, let's start look-
ing into the nature of the supernatural. It, too, must have laws!
In order to understand psi, we are going to have to develop a
totally new kind of analytical thinking; known psi phenomena
violate the inverse square law, the distance-law, and every other
basic law of Science and Logic. They violate the basic law of
Semantics; the map is the territory! What is done to the map, is
in fact done to the territory— and treating a photograph kills Jap-
anese beetles on a farm five hundred miles away.
That is absolute scientific nonsense— logically impossible!
Good; now inasmuch as it does happen . . . what are the laws
of thought, of analytical thinking, that do explain such things?
Let us fully understand and agree that it is scientifically impos-
sible, and logically nonsense.
But let us be honest; we do not annihilate the phenomenon
by denying the fact that it happens.
As of now, Russia's got us licked at the level of science and
logic. We're ahead by reason of progress we made earlier, but
our rate of acceleration has dropped way down, while theirs is
In Russia, people truly desire science.
In the United States, they do not desire science, and do desire
stability and traditions.
226 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
We must study psi— even though it will mean development of
techniques that will force you, against your will and wish, to de-
sire things that, today, you loathe.
And such psi phenomena as dowsing rods that work for eighty
per cent of the people, when used to locate buried pipes, are key
facts— objectively observable phenomena— that can lead to break-
ing the problem of subjective-level reality.
If it was important for the United States to develop the ther-
monuclear bomb . . . then
We must study psi!
Oxygen An intensely habit-forming accumulative toxic
substance. As little as one breath is known to produce a
life-long addiction to the gas, which addiction invariably
ends in death. In high concentration, it causes death
quickly, but even in 20 per cent dilution few survive more
than 0.8 century.
For most of the years I've been editing this magazine, the var-
ious non-science fictioneers who have, at one time or another,
deigned to investigate this odd-ball phenomenon, have reported
on it as a peculiar form of "escape literature/' For all of those
years, that's intensely irked me. Science fiction, in my opinion,
is not, was not, and will not be an escape literature.
I'm beginning to see, though, that the various psychologists,
sociologists, litterateurs, et cetera, et al., who have reported on
it as an escape literature did have some reason for their state-
What's finally brought that home to me is the reactions that
have followed the launching of Sputnik— and, to a slower time
scale, the explosion at Hiroshima.
Most of us in science fiction felt that the introduction of the
atomic bomb, and the nuclear power reactors, validating the con-
cepts we had been presenting for years, would bring a rise in the
It did ... for a few months. And that was followed by a
marked decline, which swept out of the field quite a few maga-
zines that had hastily tried to "get into the act."
The reactions to Sputnik have been more rapid, and, therefore,
more readily perceptible and correctable. There was, again, a
sudden rise in interest in science fiction . . . and there is, now, an
even more marked dropping of the science-fiction interest. A num-
ber of the magazines have been very heavily hit.
I think, now, I know why.
Imagine a man who came across an old, Fifteenth Century
Grimmoire, full of magical formulas and incantations, and di-
rections for summoning demons. Intrigued and amused by the
old superstitions, the pompous ridiculousness of the things the
old boys believed, he shows it to a number of friends. They de-
228 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
cide it'll be a wonderful stunt for a Halloween party, and go
through the ancient rigmarole for summoning a Demon.
And there is the Demon.
Only because it was just a lot of ridiculous flubdubbery, the
amateur magicians didn't bother to draw the protective spell of
the pentacle. They thought the old boys were kidding . . .
I think the people of the United States thought we were kid-
ding, too. And then . . . there was Sputnik. And we hadn't both-
ered with the protective spell of the pentacle; all we had was
I think they thought we were kidding. That nuclear weapons
and space flight were amusing ideas to play with . . . nonsense,
of course, but amusing nonsense . . .
Apparently, they thought that science fiction was an escape
literature, and read it as such.
It happens that science fiction's core is just about the only
non-escape literature available to the general public today. Se-
cret military reports of course are non-escape literature; they dis-
cuss satellite stations, bases on the Moon, antigravity devices
and the like. They're being discussed in those reports because
the men who write them find themselves grimly, terribly, forced
to face the woeful reality that things change, and new factors
come into action. That there is no security in knowing all the an-
swers to all the known forces . . . because new forces arise.
The essence of "main stream literature" is that There Are Eternal
Truths And Nothing Really Changes.
Sure, die Fundamental Things Remain . . . but their value
changes. Instincts several hundred million years old remain in
Man . . . but they no longer constitute the dominant force in Man.
Man still has a sex instinct— but it no longer dominates him so
that he is driven to rape any available female. The Ancient Fun-
damentals make the entire body of mainstream literature— which
is, today, almost one hundred per cent purely escape literature.
The soft, almost formless, nearly pointless stories found in the
mass-circulation magazines are a wonderful retreat from the real-
ity that is somewhat more fundamental than the ones they choose
NON-ESCAPE LITERATURE 229
It's nicer to say that evolution is based on the survival of the
fittest; it's more honest to recognize that it is based on the elimina-
tion, the culling out, of the incompetent. That the Universe is not
cruel, but it is quite definitely ruthless. You're allowed a weak-
ness ... if you pay for it with a greater strength, but the pay-
ment must be laid on the line, not promised sometime when it's
Furthermore, we can't buy the Universe; we can't purchase
clear title to it. We can only rent space, and the rent on the top-
floor space we happen to prefer is simply "achieve more than
anyone else in the building does— and that means more than you
yourself did last year."
When we fail with that rent, we lose tenure; we join the rest
of the culls that Evolution keeps removing.
You don't find anything of that theme in the main-stream lit-
erature; it's an uncomfortable lump that wouldn't be nice in an
So quite a few people took to reading science fiction and fan-
tasy, because they thought both were fantasy— escape literature
about safely, comfortably impossible things like atomic bombs
and vampires and orbital satellite rockets and werewolves.
When Hiroshima winked out of existence, some of them were
sufficiently disturbed to go back to reading about less unpleas-
ant, more immediate, "realer" things like problems of being
fired by the boss for incompetence. But they still thought we were
kidding— that it was just bad luck that those weird, and therefore
safe, imaginings happened to come almost true.
Besides, it was our atomic bomb, wasn't it? So it wasn't quite
so bad ... it was our own, private, well-guarded secret.
But Nature is, of course, a blabbermouth; she'll tell anybody
who asks the right questions. The real effect of learning that
science fiction wasn't kidding about atomic weapons came when
it became manifest that it was not our private, vest-pocket secret.
Test Mike was quite disturbing, too. And radioactive fall-out in
your own backyard, your own local home dairy delivering
milk that made the scintillometers tick off the counts.
Probably nothing is so deeply disturbing as having a nice, safe,
fantasy wake up, stretch immense muscles, yawn, and start look-
230 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
ing around ... all on its own, and not controlled by your im-
agination any more.
The first published discussion of breeder reactors appeared in
the pages of this magazine; that was in 1946, and we weren't
kidding. The first published descriptions and discussions of ther-
monuclear bombs appeared simultaneously in this magazine, and
its companion magazine, Air Trails. That item specified the use of
lithium hydride, triggered by uranium, and suggested a twenty-
five mile radius of destruction.
So that's a fantasy escape-literature, eh? We were just kidding,
You'll also find a discussion of deuterium-deuterium fusion re-
action for power back in 1939, also in this magazine. The basic
reasons for using that reaction were outlined; they're the same
reasons that underlie the present research for hydrogen-fusion
Incidentally, the world will never use uranium, thorium, or
plutonium fission power to any major extent. And that's a pre-
diction on which I'm not kidding. The only practical power-
reaction for massive use is the deuterium fusion reaction; that,
or the lithium-hydrogen reaction. Reason: those two reactions,
properly managed, yield helium and energy, and helium is ab-
solutely non-dangerous. Fission products can be tolerated only
in small quantities; large quantities cost too much to dispose of.
The fuel may be cheap— but the ashes are too damned expensive.
Deuterium and lithium are cheaper, and the ashes can be safely
dumped right in a man's face.
So we weren't kidding— and the discovery of that fact has lost
us some readers. Since Astounding has, throughout its history as
a Street & Smith magazine, never pretended it was kidding,
and has, for twenty years, been the non-escape literature that
seeks to meet the problems of tomorrow in the only possible way
—"git them before they git you!"— Astounding has not suffered
much. Nearly all of our readers have known right along that
science fiction isn't fantasy, and isn't kidding. Hiroshima was an
objective confirmation of what we already knew was real; Sput-
nik again confirmed the theoretical work we had done on the
NON-ESCAPE LITERATURE 23 1
problems of tomorrow. They weren't frightening revelations; we
hadn't been kidding ourselves, or anyone else.
But there are a lot of badly frightened people around. Some of
those who decided to try science fiction after Sputnik went up
must have left even faster than they came. If we weren't kidding
when we talked about Sputnik . . . maybe we aren't kidding
when we talk about aliens, Out There, who— horror incredible!—
might be wiser and more powerful than Man.
It is not my intention to turn to "safe" fantasy— the escape-
literature that certainly is becoming more and more popular.
Science fiction is not, and never will be a mass-appeal type of
material; still, there are some who have the unusual characteristic
of being able to enjoy a non-escape literature— who can look at a
problem that hasn't slugged them over the head yet, and like
thinking about it.
From the consistent, strong shout of "Take it away!" every time
Astounding has tried a story verging on the fantasy side, I'm sure
this audience doesn't want escape literature.
O.K., friends— stick around. We haven't been kidding— and we
aren't going to kid anybody in the future.
Even if they do go on thinking we're kidding when we talk
about antigravity, faster-than-light interstellar travel, and some
other things we don't have yet.
Or ... at least we don't have them yet publicly. But two
friends of mine, both professional, recognized scientists, have sep-
arately, and circumstantially, reported watching a demonstra-
tion of an antigravity device that worked.
At the Los Angeles Science Fiction Convention in September,
I stated my personal, present hunch. The first man to reach the
Moon may get there with a rocket. But the first trips to the other
planets will not be made by rockets. Not because rockets couldn't
—but because the force field approach will intercept the line of
And I'm not kidding on that, either.
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO?
The data that Mariner II signaled back as it passed Venus last
December has been released only gradually— and turns out to be
largely confirmation of the completely upsetting fact that Venus
has a surface temperature of some 6oo° to 8oo°F. It's upsetting,
because it shatters nearly all our conceptions of the nature of the
planets— and of the probabilities of life on other worlds.
Combined with the recent determination of the nature of Mars'
reddish color, and the nature of those polar caps, the Solar System
has suddenly become a mighty lonely-looking place. Mars' red-
dish color, it now appears, is due to the familiar red-brown nitric
oxide gas in its thin atmosphere— and the polar caps are solid
masses of the white solid form of nitric oxide. It's unnecessary to
look for water on Mars, now; if there is any free liquid, the brooks
and lakes would be what is now familiarly designated as RFNA
—fine for rocket fuels, but Red Fuming Nitric Acid isn't for
But science fiction has lost more than its Venus colony— at
8oo°F.? . . . !— and its Mars colony. We just lost the chance for
intelligent aliens circling other stars. Because the facts we've
now learned force a revision of our most basic conception of
What Planets Are Like.
We've been deluded by an especially tricky type of reasoning-
trap, that is usually almost impossible to detect until after you've
been suckered by it. In this case, it goes "I know what planets
are like; I live on one." The stinker in that happens to be that
our knowledge relates to a so-far-as-we-know absolutely unique
planet, and one that our knowledge to date indicates must be at
least extremely unusual in the Universe.
You see, what we've overlooked is the fact that we live on
one component of a binary planet.
What are the chances of another binary planet like the Earth-
Moon system circling another adequately long-lived star at a dis-
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? 233
tance producing a suitable temperature on a clear-atmosphere
Venus has long been described as Earth's twin; with a diameter
of 7,500 miles to Earth's 8,000, surface gravity eighty-five per
cent of Earth's, at about two thirds Earth's distance from the
Sun— it sure looked as though Venus would be very similar to
The radio astronomers, several years ago, began getting data
on the surface conditions on Venus— and the answers were so
unbelievable that they were accepted only with the greatest re-
luctance. That Venus, Earth's twin, should have a temperature
that would melt lead was incredible. The fantastically high tem-
perature readings were ascribed to some anomalous radio fre-
quency emission from the planet.
Optical astronomers couldn't penetrate Venus' cloud layer well
enough to get even so much as data on the rate of the planet's
rotation, let alone get any useful surface detail. The spectroscope,
ordinarily able to answer many questions that direct observation
couldn't, failed completely on Venus; whatever the planet's rota-
tion rate, it was so slow that the spectroscope couldn't detect it.
Whatever the atmosphere of Venus contained, it wasn't anything
we could be sure of. Carbon dioxide . . . probably. Water . . .
no readable indications. The planet of mystery . . .
Radio astronomers, working at enormously longer wavelengths
than those used by optical astronomers, were able to get signals
from Venus that most probably did emanate from the actual solid
surface, not from the clouds above. But their data came up with
insane answers! Earth, if it were at Venus' distance, should have
an average temperature of 150°F. That Venus could have a tem-
perature so enormously higher . . .
Repeated checks gave the same answers. And tests for radio
frequency spectrum responses due to water vapor— it has spec-
trum lines in the microwave region, as well as in the "optical"
range— gave negative answers.
We've known about the "greenhouse effect"— the ability of an
atmosphere to trap solar energy by allowing short-wave visible
energy in, but blocking the re-radiation of longer wavelength
heat— for a long time. But never in the degree Venus now turns
234 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
out to have! Venus has a "greenhouse" that could be used for a
home pottery kiln, practically— certainly not as either a green-
house or even a home bake-oven!
The clouds appear to be a solid fifty to seventy-five mile thick
layer of the most vicious kind of industrial smog-type compo-
nents; complex hydrocarbons and assorted mineral acid vapors.
We on Earth here tend to think of nitrogen as an "inert in-
gredient" in an atmosphere. Completely wrong! Earth now ap-
pears to be the only planet in the Solar System on which nitrogen
is free in the atmosphere! On the giant planets— Jupiter, Saturn
and the rest— nitrogen is linked with hydrogen in ammonia. And
to form great mountains of a solid metallic substance that doesn't
exist as free metal on Earth— ammonium metal, NH 4 . (Under the
extreme pressures in the giant planets' atmospheres, NH 3 -f H2
is less stable than the solid metallic form, NH 4 . )
On Mars, nitrogen is finked up with oxygen in nitric oxide. On
Venus, seemingly, nitric oxides are present also. (And, inciden-
tally, in the Sun's atmosphere, nitrogen is one of the few ele-
ments that can remain in combination even at solar temperatures
—that everybody-knows-its-inert element combines with carbon to
form cyanogen— CN— can be detected in the solar spectrum. )
Down on the surface of Venus, under the tens of miles of
smog, the conditions closely approximate the conditions at the
bottoms of Earth's deepest seas in several important respects.
The darkness is absolute; there is no light whatever. There is
moreover, neither weather nor climate; the immensely thick in-
sulating blanket prevents all temperature fluctuations from day
to day— even with Venus weeks-long day— or from year to year.
Down there, there is only an unending, searing, black calm.
Earth has jet streams in its atmosphere— stratosphere, to be ac-
curate—which roar around the planet at hundreds of miles an
hour, constituting a major heat-distribution mechanism. Venus
has jet streams, too— but with the immense depth of atmosphere,
and the enormous heat differentials resulting from the very slow
rotation, Venus' jet streams apparently achieve wind velocities of
thousands of miles an hour.
Those stupendous winds high in Venus' atmosphere do not,
however, mean that the surface layers of that atmosphere are
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? 235
disturbed; Earth's jet stream are only a few miles above Earth's
surface, yet immediately under a 250-mile-an-hour jet stream
there may be the dead calm of a hot summer day.
Venus' atmosphere supports completely opaque clouds some
sixty miles above the planet's surface, Mariner II reported. At a
fifty mile altitude above Earth, by current definition, a man is
legally in space. And certainly it's far beyond aerodynamic flight
To be able to support opaque clouds at sixty miles, Venus must
have many, many times Earth's atmosphere. If it matches Earth's
cloud-layer density at sixty miles, remember that Earth's atmos-
pheric density doubles, approximately, every five miles you go
down. If Venus' doubles for each six miles, then Venus must have
several hundred times as much atmosphere as Earth.
And this is Earth's "twin planet"?
All the work the geophysicists, cosmologists and astrophysicists
have done during the past century must now be massively re-
evaluated. In computing the way a planet gains or loses atmos-
phere, they have, naturally, checked their computations against
the facts concerning the available planet— Earth.
It turns out they've been checking their figures against a plane-
tary freak. Venus, nearly exactly Earth's size, retained scores of
times as much atmospheric gas— and if anything, Venus is smaller,
and we now know it's also very much hotter. Earth's atmosphere
should be at least two whole orders of magnitude greater than it
Mercury, of course, has no atmosphere; as close to the Sun as
it is, and as small as it is— almost exactly three thousand miles in
diameter— it couldn't retain gases.
Of the other eight planets, only three have transparent atmos-
pheres—Earth, Mars and Neptune. (Pluto is unknown, but almost
certainly clear. ) Neptune's is clear because the planet's tempera-
ture is so low that nothing but hydrogen, helium and neon re-
main gaseous; there's nothing to make a condensable vapor at
those temperatures. Mars' is clear because of its extreme thinness.
And Earth's is clear because of its extreme thinness.
236 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
Every other major planet capable of retaining atmosphere is a
clouded-atmosphere, or opaque-atmosphere planet.
Earth's a freak.
In the past, we've guesstimated the probable surface tempera-
ture of other planets by supposing Earth were in the orbit of
the other planet. In Venus' orbit, Earth would have a temperature
of about i5o°F. In Mars' orbit, Earth would have a temperature
about — 4o°F. In Jupiter's orbit . . .
And now that we know Earth is in fact a freak, how about
trying Venus as the sample— what of Venus-type opaque-
atmosphere planets at those different distances? That would
make much more sense, since, with the exception of Mars, the
others we're interested in are opaque-atmosphere worlds!
On the basis of Venus' actual surface temperature, Jupiter and
Saturn both may have a liquid-water surface temperature.
Recently I had an editorial here on the question of which stars
might be expected to have planets capable of supporting life.
All of those remarks now have to be re-evaluated— because it
now appears that planets as close to Sol-type stars as Earth and,
probably, Mars will normally have surface temperatures well
above 2i2°F. Earth would have a surface temperature— if it
weren't a freak— above the 372°C. temperature at which water
becomes a "permanent gas," i.e., no amount of pressure can
liquify it. The life-temperatures zone around a star, in other
words, starts for normal, opaque-atmosphere planets, much far-
ther out than Earth, and extends to the region where even an
opaque-atmosphere heat-trap can't keep the planet warm.
There is, however, one slight difficulty.
Life evolved on Earth, and we've had a lot of discussion and
studies to show that life would, by the nature of things, tend to
evolve on any planet having the necessary temperature range.
Sorry ... try again! On any freak binary planet having a
clear atmosphere, and also having gravity enough to retain light
gases such as the hydrogen necessary for making water.
One of the strange anomalies of life in Earth's oceans is that the
Antarctic Sea is by far the most densely populated body of water
on Earth. It certainly seems improbable that life should congre-
gate most thickly in that icy cold zone of long, bitter nights.
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? 237
The reason depends on the fact that life must have three ab-
solute essentials; light, for energy input; fluid for chemical trans-
port medium; and minerals to be transported and interacted.
The ocean deeps have the greatest concentration of minerals;
there, there are the minerals needed for abundant life . . . but
there is no light, so none of the photosynthetic life forms can get
the energy to live, and only a very few scavenger forms live on
detritus raining down from the upper levels.
In the tropical waters, where light is brilliantly and regularly
available, and the water is warm, which tends to speed biological
processes . . . there is so acute a shortage of minerals— particu-
larly phosphorus— that the microscopic plant forms on which the
whole life chain of the ocean depends cannot grow.
But in the Antarctic Sea, the deep waters from the ocean floor,
heavily laced with minerals, are forced up to the ocean surface
—into the zone where light, water, and minerals can be found
simultaneously. The sea swarms with life I
An opaque-atmosphere planet presents a not-entirely-dissimilar
problem. At the surface of the planet are minerals; at the top of
the atmosphere is light energy. But is there any way for the two
ever to get together with a usable fluid?
In the case of Venus, we have evidence that there is no water,
even in the deep layers of the atmosphere, for even microwave
radio astronomy hasn't detected it. But assume a Venus-like
planet that did have water vapor.
Nov/ the top cloud layers of Venus have a temperature around
sixty degrees below zero F.; the surface has a temperature around
eight hundred degrees above zero; there must be a region some-
where in between where water can exist as a liquid.
However, the problem life would encounter is this: at the
lighted surface of an opaque-atmosphere planet, the temperature
is very low. Ammonia might serve as a life fluid at that level.
But the deep levels are much too hot for the cold-level fluid to
exist! No one substance would be usable as a fluid both at the
lighted top zone, and at the mineral-rich bottom!
There is, of course, always some dust in a planetary atmos-
phere. How about dust being carried up from die mineralized
238 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
surface levels to a fluid level far enough up for photosynthesis?
Up through anything from fifty to five thousand miles of
opaque atmosphere, you mean? Remember, the bottom of an
opaque atmosphere is, by the nature of the processes, calm.
Mighty little dust-stirring there, where the dust exists to be
stirred. Venus' upper lighted levels may well get more dust-input
from micrometeorites falling from space than from stragglers who
climbed fifty miles against gravity to reach sunlight.
In Jupiter's case, the outer layers are definitely known to be
ammonia clouds, laced with metallic sodium. But the opaque-
atmosphere model suggests that Jupiter's surface temperatures
must be in the liquid-water range, or perhaps even higher. (If
those opaque atmospheres trap solar heat that effectively, they
must also block the escape of radioactive heat to a fantastic de-
gree. And the quantity of potassium-40 in the mass of Jupiter
would generate quite a little heat! )
Jupiter would then be a case of a planet whereon only an
ammonia-fluid life form could exist in the photo-active levels—
and only a water-fluid life form could exist in the surface layers!
And inasmuch as there is strong evidence for free metallic sodium
and metallic ammonium in Jupiter's clouds, neither of which can
coexist with H 2 0, we can drop that problem.
So . . . can an opaque-atmosphere planet permit the evolu-
tion of living forms?
Evidently life-as-we-know it would be unable to find the three
necessities in any place simultaneously.
Now the mass of matter in the Universe is practically pure
hydrogen, with some helium, and traces of contamination by
heavier elements. Planets, because of their small gravitational
fields, lose practically all the gases, and retain only the trace con-
taminants; Jupiter and Saturn have made out somewhat better,
but even they must have lost something like ninety-eight per
cent of the original gaseous mass from which their remaining
matter was gathered.
The most abundant elements seem to be— after hydrogen and
helium, of course— the lighter elements, which are the ones first
manufactured in stellar cores, and iron, which is the lowest-
energy nucleus and the true ash of stellar thermonuclear reac-
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? 239
tions. (Energy is released in building all elements up to Fe-56;
energy is consumed in building all elements above Fe-56. U-235
fissions and yields energy because it is far above the Fe-56 least-
energy-nucleus structure, and breaking down toward the lighter
elements yields energy.)
There are three elements that can't exist in stellar thermonu-
clear cores— lithium, beryllium and boron have no isotopes that
can maintain existence in a thermonuclear core. Deuterium—
"heavy hydrogen"— can't remain either. These four react more
rapidly, at a lower temperature, than does hydrogen— so they go
first and fastest.
The element next after boron is carbon— and carbon, oxygen
and nitrogen are the three elements taking part in the "solar
Phoenix" reaction, important thermonuclear processes in stellar
mechanics. After oxygen comes fluorine— which has a single iso-
tope, F-19, and while it's stable, it doesn't stand up well in a
thermonuclear core. Then we get to neon, sodium, magnesium
In the raw material of planets, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and
oxygen play crucial roles. Hydrogen and oxygen are the most
abundant— so far as Solar System indications go!— with nitrogen
and carbon less so. Oxygen can combine to form oxides of the
rocky types with silicon, magnesium, and aluminum; in addition,
hydrogen oxide— water— is, of course, common.
Nitrogen can combine either with oxygen or hydrogen— but at
planetary temperatures, neither nitrides of the metals nor the
cyanogens seem to be favored.
In Earth's atmosphere, nitric oxides are constantly being
formed by solar electron bombardment, UV activity, and by elec-
tric sparks— lightning— in the atmosphere. And the biological ac-
tivities of organisms are greedily consuming every molecule of
the combined nitrogen they can get hold of. If if weren't for the
biological activities, nitrogen oxides would accumulate in Earth's
In Jupiter's atmosphere, the immense excess of hydrogen swept
all the oxygen out of the atmosphere; there, the enormous pres-
sure makes the reaction N 2 + 3H2 = 2NH3 strongly favored.
On Earth, the free oxygen in the atmosphere tends to favor
24O COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
strongly the production of carbon dioxide; on Jupiter, the hydro-
gen excess favors the formation of carbon tetrahydride— methane,
CH 4 .
In each case, the atmospheres of the planets grow almost solely
from the interactions of the four lightest thermonuclear-stable
elements, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.
The thermonuclear probabilities make it very unlikely that any
other gases could be important on planets elsewhere in the Uni-
verse. Fluorine, the only other first row of the periodic table ele-
ment, is very low in cosmic abundance. (The helium nucleus of
mass number 4 seems to be the stable unit of construction for
the lighter elements. Oxygen- 16 is four times He 4 ; carbon- 12 is
three times, and neon-20 is five times. Fluorine- 19 is not favored.
Nitrogen- 14, halfway between C 12 and O 16 and one of the major
steps in the "solar Phoenix reaction" is favored.)
Venus' smog-type opaque atmosphere appears to be made up
of what might be expected from those interactions. Evidently the
planet— somewhat fighter than Earth and nearer the Suns heat
and ionization— lost nearly all its hydrogen while forming. Most
of its oxygen combined with rock-forming elements. The re-
maining hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen assorted them-
selves into a system partway between the ammonia-methane sys-
tem of Jupiter, and the nitric-oxide system of the still-lighter
Start with the hydrocarbon-ammonia atmosphere of Jupiter,
and reduce the hydrogen content while leaving the other gases
fairly constant. The ammonia will go over to nitrogen oxides, the
carbon will go from methane, CH 4 , to CO and C0 2 , as oxygen
becomes relatively dominant. The interaction of the resulting mix-
ture of nitrogen and carbon oxides with methane will lead to
the production of higher, more complex hydrocarbons and hydro-
carbon derivatives. There will be complex aldehydes, alcohols
and organic acids, with assorted attached nitro and amine groups.
These reactions will be driven by the high-energy radiation of
the Sun— the ultraviolet quanta, impacting electrons and protons,
soft X rays, et cetera, reacting on the uppermost layers of the
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? 24 1
Our own atmosphere shows traces of nitric oxides from solar
bombardment at the uppermost levels, for instance.
Now Venus has so high a surface temperature that there is no
usable fluid at the surface. But— suppose Venus had a bit more
water, and were moved out to Jupiter's distance. We would then
have a curious possibility for a totally new kind of life-system.
That process of radiation-excited reactions between the atmos-
pheric hydrocarbons and nitric oxides will tend to produce fairly
complex organic compounds. Radiation-produced amines and
radiation-induced acids will combine on contact to form larger
and more complex molecules— which will tend to sift downward
These complex organic compounds can serve as food for living
cells that operate on a fermentation basis! It would be possible,
in other words, for a life-system to evolve on an opaque-atmos-
phere planet, with no equivalent of plant forms! The planet's
atmosphere itself would serve to fix radiant energy in the form of
organic compounds, and the slow trickle of resulting compounds
downward to the fluid-mineral supply at the surface would make
life possible in total absence of light energy input.
The resultant surface life would all be "animal," in the sense
of being energy-releasers rather than energy-fixing organisms.
Like the living forms at the bottoms of our ocean deeps, the
whole system would be dependent on the thin rain of organic
detritus from far above. Living in absolute darkness, on very thin
rations, they would, in effect, be smog-eating organisms. Their
output of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water would return to the
atmosphere, filtering slowly up through the vast blanket of
opaque smog, to the reactivation levels where sunlight could act
Life-as-we-know it, with plants and animals in a balanced
symbiosis, would not be possible. And the purely accidental
radiation-activation of atmospheric components suggested would
be immeasurably less efficient than the photosynthetic activities
of plants. But still, a thin population of living things could evolve
—a population as thin as, or thinner than, that in our ocean deeps.
And this could happen on what we must now recognize as the
normal type of planet— the opaque-atmosphere planet.
242 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
But . . . could intelligent organisms evolve? Say on Jupiter. Thin
as the population might be, with the stupendous size of the
planet, there would still be possibilities of millions of entities.
The work on Project Ozma, seeking to contact possible other
intelligent races on nearby other-star planets, assumed that any
race as intelligent as the human race would, like us, develop and
use radio-frequency communication.
We now have serious reason to question that.
On an opaque-atmosphere world, an intelligent race would
never see sun, stars or planets; they would have neither weather
Human science started with astrology— the science of predict-
ing coming events— seasons— by the stars. It led to the necessity of
measurement of angles. Quantitative-measurement is the basis of
all our sciences— and they developed largely from astrology and
surveying, which developed from the angle-measurement work
and geometrical studies astrology induced. Astronomy offers no
immediate pragmatic rewards such that a subsistence-level cul-
ture would support an observatory and an observer; astrology
did. It was most decidedly important to learn how to predict the
change of seasons. And then surveying became possible as a
sort of unexpected bonus. And then . . .
The dark- world intelligences would not have that stimulus.
On Earth, the Eastern philosophers have tended far more to-
ward the non-quantitative, purely-qualitative fields of subjective
If, even on Earth, where there is powerful direct stimulus to-
ward the quantitative measurement sciences, a major portion of
the human philosophers have tended toward the qualitative-
subjective— what would the dark-worlders do?
Radio techniques are an outgrowth of optics, actually— an ex-
tension of electromagnetic theory of light into lower frequencies
was the original motivation of Hertz's experiments.
There's evidence that quite different types of possibilities exist,
beyond the domain of science we know. Clairvoyants have
existed; ESP does occur. Telekinesis has happened.
Suppose that there are planets of Tau Ceti, and Project Ozma's
beamed radio signals are quite futile— just as futile as the Tau
WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? 243
Cetans beamed clairvoyance-band transmissions. Never having
worked with the electromagnetic spectrum, they don't have the
radio-optical gadget we know as TV; they use an equally
sophisticated gadget that is a clairvoyance machine. And they
know that, obviously, any equally intelligent race anywhere must
surely develop clairvoyance transmission equipment.
Would we recognize their civilization if we saw it? Or would
they recognize ours if they encountered it?
They've been saying those "flying saucers" are purely illusions.
Well— maybe they are. Purely subjective phenomena. Remote
clairvoyance pickups, purely subjective devices, transmitted from
Jupiter or Tau Ceti VI or ... ?
But one thing seems rather starkly clear from the data we now
The Universe may be full of planets— millions and millions of
them. Nice, normal planets . . . like Venus or Mercury or Jupiter.
But Man is going to have a problem. Terra-type planets are
binary planets. It takes the contending gravitational fields of two
condensing nuclei to strip the gases away from a major planetary
body and leave a medium-large planet with a freakishly clear
And we're going to be pretty lonely in the Universe as a result.
Where is everybody?
Hidden under an impenetrable blanket of viciously corrosive
smog ... if they exist at all.
GOD ISN'T DEMOCRATIC
Over the last few years, successive decisions of the Supreme
Court have reduced the areas where religious practices are per-
mitted. Currently, the public schools are no longer permitted to
offer prayers to God.
This would, I think, be somewhat startling to the Founding
Fadiers— and to the peoples who established this nation in pursuit
of their own brand of religious freedom. The Puritans— the
Quakers— the various religious groups and sects that did a very
great deal to build up this nation.
If such a ruling had been handed down by His Majesty's
Courts, in the Colonies, in the days of King George III, it could
be expected that the American Colonists would have revolted at
that point, without waiting for "taxation without representation."
The large Irish population in this country came here quite largely
as a result of English attempts to induce them to change their
The fact that there has been almost no popular rebellion or
loud outcry against the Supreme Court decision shows that the
attitude of the people on that subject was correctly interpreted
by the Court. The American people today do not want God to be
so prominent in their lives; the decision of the Court was a popu-
lar one— an expression of the feelings of the people of the nation.
Perhaps we can understand the change in attitude toward God
and religion in terms of the change of concepts of what is "good"
and "the way it should be."
The Colonists who came over here did not come to set up a
democracy— or any other particular form of political government.
They did not revolt against the English King and then come over
here— they were not motivated by political concepts. The Irish
who came over to escape the religious persecution in Ireland were
not politically motivated in the sense of wanting democracy vs.
some other ocracy. They would have been happy to come over
GOD ISNT DEMOCRATIC 245
to a full absolute monarchy . . . provided the monarchy permit-
ted them religious freedom. Their objection was not that the King
of England wanted to be King— but that he wanted to replace
It's important to recognize the very real distinction between
political and religious motivations— for that very important divi-
sion is being diluted and washed away in the modern philosophy.
Politics is the area of human rule; religion is the area of divine
The major rejection of God in modern societies stems from a
simple fundamental: God is not democratic. He violates every
basic tenet of Democracy. Naturally such a concept is intolerable
in a democratic society.
The basic conception of Deity holds that the Creator is an ab-
solute tyrant, who has such powers of detection and espionage
that nothing takes place without His awareness. That His deci-
sions are absolute, unarguable, and— by definition!— always Right
and Just. That He has absolute and inescapable power of Life
In other words, that God is the ultimate in absolute tyrants,
with an information system that penetrates everywhere, always,
and the ultimate in police power to punish and/or reward.
This is in absolute and violent conflict with the ideals of popular
democracy. God is right, even if all the people vote against Him
—a violation of the basic postulate of Democracy that the vote
of the People determines Right and Wrong, Good and Evil.
The fundamental of theology is that human will, human
thought, and human consensus are not the ultimate determinant
of Right in the Universe. That all men always are and always
will be subject to the Will of God.
Now note one factor here very carefully: It is totally unneces-
sary to raise any question of Faith, or factual reality of the above
concepts to be able to analyze the purely logical consequences.
We have two sets of postulates:
1. Democracy holds that the Will of the People is the Su-
preme and Final determining factor in what is Right, what
Should Be Done. That the Will of the People should direct
executive officers— that the people should not be directed by
246 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
their leaders. That any Entity who seeks to oppose or suppress
the Will of the People is a— vicious, evil, destructive— tyrant.
2. Religion holds that the Will of God is the Supreme and
Absolute determining factor in what is Right, what Should Be
Done. That anyone opposing the Will of God will be punished
by God, unless he truly mends his ways— and that God, being
omniscient, is not going to be deceived.
Now religious freedom, in its true sense, does not deny any of
the postulates of religion. Moslem, Christian and Jew— Protestant
and Catholic— can all agree on those basics. Religious freedom
simply acknowledges that man, not being divine and omniscient,
does not know-for-sure what the Laws of God actually are. The
practice of that degree of humility is something men attained
only relatively recently, very bloodily, over many centuries. It
amounts to recognizing, finally, that while God's laws are indeed
absolute— men's understanding of them isn't.
The religious freedom being sought by the men who founded
America was simply that proposition; the right to obey what they
believed the Absolute Laws of God were.
What we have in America today, however, is something quite
different. It doesn't hold simply that no one group can know-for-
sure the Absolute Laws of the One God— it holds that if there is a
God, there should not be, for He would be an absolute— vicious,
evil, destructive— tyrant, since any entity seeking to overrule the
Will of the People is vicious, evil, and to be rejected.
This attitude is a necessary consequence of the basic postulates
of Popular Democracy; the Will of the People is the absolute
source of Right, and all tyrants are, de facto, evil. Therefore, the
Will of God cannot be tolerated, because it would be tyrannical,
and evil since it opposed the Will of the People.
Moreover, there are many personal aspects of an acceptance of
religion that become acutely discomforting to many people. God
has been called "The Great Snoop"; those who would prefer to
have their acts and doings very completely private do not find
the idea of an all-knowing God at all comfortable.
Then the concept that there are absolute laws that are not
GOD ISNT DEMOCRATIC 247
"just matters of opinion, and my opinion's as good as anyone
else's!" doesn't sit well with another type of personality.
God, too, is called The Great Judge— and Democracy has a
much kindlier concept; that no one should judge his fellows.
This business of a Great Judge who sits in unarguable judgment,
as Judge, Jury, and Prosecuting Attorney— complete with built-in
and inescapable truth-perception— turns many more away from
the idea of such a tyrannical system toward the kindlier ideas of
The churches continue to prosper— but one of the most prosper-
ous I know of is a suburban church where Sunday is the com-
munity fashion show and social get-together. Church and Courts
alike have recognized the temper of the people, the popular
belief that ruling tyrants are inherently evil, to be rejected— an
image to be softened. Not a stern, just, all-powerful but merciful
King, but a jolly politician type, who recognizes the Will of the
People, and does favors for the Right People.
That particular school of theology has been tried by other cul-
tures, other times in other places. It doesn't work. The culture
comes apart at the seams— for the essence of that form of "theol-
ogy" is that there is no hard discipline, no real necessities, in the
For the revolt is not against God— but against the concepts of
discipline, of forces in the Universe greater than human will, and
mass opinion. The delusion that popular opinion is the determin-
ing force in the Universe, that what The People want is, thereby,
Right is a basic tenet of popular democracy as now taught.
It has seemed to me that one of the reasons that so many people
dislike Science— find scientists "cold and inhuman"— is that
Science consists of studying and recognizing the factors in the
Universe that are not subject to popular democracy, are not a
"matter of opinion," and partake, remarkably, of the characteris-
tics ascribed, by theology, to the Will of God! The Laws of the
Universe are quite absolute indeed— and ruthlessly just. Obey
them scrupulously, and they work for you; defy them, and you
get crushed quite casually, without the slightest bitterness, or
anger— or concern.
248 COLLECTED EDITORIALS FROM Analog
The scientist, directly concerned with those absolutes, doesn't
have the easy, human willingness to give a little— stretch a point
for a friend— that the politician understands. He acts almost as
rigidly unyielding as an old-time dedicated priest.
Perhaps there is no God after all.
But there is One Universe, and its laws are absolute, unswerv-
ing, unyielding, and enforced on us without argument.
The danger to a nation, to a people, is in the idea that the Will
of die People can legislate away the necessity for discipline, the
necessity of recognizing there are greater and more important
things, than human wishes.
AboHshing God may not be quite as simple as the people would
It may be that not even the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in
that area— that there really is a higher Court that will overrule it.